Advertising, General, MFW

Selling advertising has always been a people thing; its what ad reps did; they gave ’selling’ a human touch. And nothing’s changed…

We have, for quite some time now, been treading a similar path to MrG.

Only difference being that whilst Google’s road forward is a ten-lane LA highway; ours is far more of an ill-trod, mountain path.. with little more than one hardy, Himalayan goat to have gone before us.

And we tend to keep our gobs shut; we’re small. As in tiny small. And we know we’re tiny small.

But by chance our paths happened to coincide again last week after – courtesy of Mr Neil Mason – I found myself reading this…

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/next-generation-of-ad-serving-for.html

It is Google’s announcemnet of how they plan to integrate DoubleClick’s display ad proposition into their own, existing Ad programs… in effect, bolting on richer media solutions for publishers to their existing AdSense and Ad Words offerings.

All of which harked back to Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick in the spring of 2007.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/technology/14DoubleClick.html

Now they have a plan to marry the two together and offer publishers large and small the chance to maximise their ad returns…

DoubleClick for Publishers is designed… “to help online publishers make the most money possible from their content, whether they sell advertising directly through their own sales force, through an ad network such as AdSense, or a combination of both…

It is a tricky task; trying to be all things to all men.

Cos we’re doing the same; bolting on a richer media offering to our existing www.addiply.com proposition… only in our case, our Ian – with a little help from Harry, Toby and co from NeonTribe – has spent his festive break weaving the banner ad management system that always lay behind www.myfootballwriter.com/norwichcity into the DNA of Addiply…

So, in effect, Addiply’s ‘DoubleClick’ is http://www.twadservices.co.uk

It has only ever had one customer; http://www.myfootballwriter.com/norwichcity No-one has offered me three bucks for it, let alone three billion.

But the point remains the same; sign up to a publishers account with Addiply and – on the proviso that you recognise a public beta trial when you see one – you can now offering richer media solutions to your potential advertising clients.

For a fiver a week. Or a tenner a month. Or whatever rate you fancy. You could even set yourself a CPM rate – and sell by impressions.

But as Google themselves point out; that’s not always easy to manage yourself. Who knows when a big story might break… literally in the case of the global surfing site that suddenly finds itself the victim of a surge in traffic but is left with no ads to fill…

Of course, if he’d flogged his display ads off at $100 a month then he’d be covered; and if he was working on the bid model, then as soon as a web-savvy wax manufacturing recognised the surge in traffic, he could have nicked that space for $110 bucks a month… and seen which way the wind had blown a month later.

By placing the ad himself, as opposed to entrusting an ad network to deliver that same result for him…

It is fascinating. Because for me, rightly or wrongly, I still think people want to buy off people; they don’t want to be enslaved to a machine; to be wholly beholden to the magic of an algorithm.

However smart.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect that there are one or two Google executives who wished that a pair of human eyes had seen a certain video clip rather earlier than subsequently transpired…

… had any decent human being spotted said video, then three of Google’s finest wouldn’t have found themselves at the mercy of the Italian judicial system…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/mar/01/google-youtube-charles-arthur

All of brings thoughts of pre-moderation and pre-approval right to the fore…

And, yes, I know you can tweak and twiddle with this, that and whatever within the Google machine; that you can ‘optimise’ your life away getting the ad ‘fit’ right. There is an element of human intervention in both models.

But, I believe, one of the things that both Lee at our much-loved
http://www.peoplesrepublicofsouthdevon.co.uk/and Alastair at http://www.greenerleith.org appreciate the most is the chance to simply approve ads themselves; to grant people space on their site in the knowledge that they fit snugly into that particular community…

And it might be a ‘fit’ that is explained by wholly non-mathematical thinking… ie/eg ‘Yeh, he’s fine… he’s a mate…’

Indeed, travel up and down this land with your ad network wares and more and more you find this trait; of people not only wanting to buy off people, but to sell to people that they – not a machine – approve of…

One conversation involved ruling out any business that lay west of the Tamar; another – more recent – involved the prospect of running a local ad system through one of the most fractured and divided communities in Western Europe.

How a black box would ever make sense of those tribal divisions is beyond me; and I suspect even the mightiest brains on the planet as they huddle round that magical algorithm.

People want the ability to choose; to be empowered, not enslaved. And therein lies a world of difference between Addiply and Googliath.

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