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AM: Re: Advertising sales channels, broadly defined

To:     ad-market
Subject:     AM: Re: Advertising sales channels, broadly defined
Date:     Wed, 29 Apr 1998 18:39:45 -0400

We run two sites that fall into the category you described:  
Business Resource Center -
GovCon -

Selling ads is tough... sort of.  We have in-house sales reps that focus
on selling ads on the GovCon site, which provides bidding info among other
things to help government contractors win contracts.  While we have some
big-name advertisers online, the niche focus of the site results in a
somewhat lengthy sales cycle. We tried asking rep firms to sell ads on the
site but the two we spoke with (Cybereps and Webrep)  both said they
aren't taking on additional clients -- I'm sure the exception is if you're
already a household brand name). 

The other site, Business Resource Center, which focuses on providing info
to help small business grow, hasn't had any problem in getting brand-name
advertisers calling us so we don't have any dedicated sales reps for this
site. The site's been up since late 1994 (starting out as a showcase for
our web design services until we realized that people were really coming
to it for the content) so it has a lot of links to it from other related
sites, making it easy to find.  Advertisers seem to be more open to
advertising to this market since it's not as tight a niche.  We've found
that once the large agencies who handle the big advertising accounts likes
your site, they start recommending to many of their clients. That's how we
landed IBM, Lotus (well, I guess that's really the same firm now), and
GTE. Then, when other big names see these big names, they call.

We haven't had great success with ad networks (we tried Flycast). They
tend to sell ad inventory at very low prices. While industry average CPM
rates are mid-$30s, theirs tend to be in the low teens (at the highest).
But if you're not selling any ads currently, they're great.

Raj Khera                           FREE Commerce Business Daily, FAR, etc.
Khera Communications, Inc.                     
(301) 548-4363 (direct)             FREE Help for Small Businesses
(301) 258-8292 (main) x4363

> In general it would be great to start a conversation on the options for
> generating value from consumer (or other) pageview inventory on sites,
> particularly in the middle market, say 500,000 to a couple of million
> pageviews a month.  We are currently looking at rep firm and ad network
> options for our main ratecard inventory, as well as some other interesting
> sounding ideas like Narrowline NMX's media listing marketplace.
> I personally would like to hear from other participants on the list who
> have used ad banner networks (linkshare, etc.), ad sales networks (24/7,
> DoubleClick), ad rep firms, affiliate-type deals/promotions, in-house sales
> and whatever else on what was found effecting for different types of sites
> and situations.

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