All credit to our Craig and BroadStreetAds – throwing commoditization and standardization out of the window is just sooooo Addiply. Sooooo 2018….

My pal Craig from ThisFrenchLife sent me this over the weekend.

It’s an e-book from‘Ten Advantages — The Tested War Plan for Digital Ad Sales’

In the unlikely event anyone has 20 minutes or so to spare, I would thoroughly recommend it.

And not for the first time, Craig got me thinking as we add the final tweaks to a new-look MyFootballWriter, the one that comes with Addiply fully wired in.

It’s a chunky 34-page read, so forgive me if I just dip in here and there. Page 8 was where it starts to get interesting; got me pondering, as the guide starts to talk about the current, dominant position enjoyed by the giant ad networks – be they Facebook, Google or all the other hapless idiots squeezed in-between.

“Since these big ad-tech players are now the best way to achieve targeted, efficient spend of a marketing budget, they have attracted staggering amounts of marketing money and have effectively set the standard for how advertising business is done online. This part is important, because it’ll lead us to our next section. To programmatically sell ads at scale, two things must take place….

Which are?

Commoditization. And Standardization.

Commoditzation in the sense that the audience is the commodity to sell at, not the individual publishers per se.

And as such they are best sold at per thousand views (CPM). No matter where they are. So MyFootballWriter could garner 2% worth of a $10 CPM campaign chasing Norfolk-based, 18-24-year-old sports-interested males, a granular reward for all its content troubles… with TAB/UEA picking up 7% etc etc…

Standardization in the sense that you will get the same sized ad – whether you are on MFW/Norwich or Tab/UEA.

The great big, ad network machine will pump out a 728 x 90 leaderboard banner in front of your audience. And if you don’t have the appropriate slot sat there on your site ready to receive the CPM crumb off the ad network table, you’re fucked.

“A marketer might have a set of digital files (usually, images) that they want to run at scale. This is only possible if the majority of publications accept digital files with matching specifications. For example, a 300×250-sized ad can only run on a website that makes enough room for it. You couldn’t run a leaderboard ad such as a 728×90 in a slot designed for a 300×250.”

Which makes it advantage ad network, power-wise. They are setting the rules. Standardizing the ad product any local publisher like MFW is able to offer its local advertisers.

And here is the learning.

“The lesson is that standardization, which is essentially guaranteeing that everyone is selling the exact same product, makes it practically impossible for a publishing business to differentiate itself…”

And every audience member gets ‘banner blindness’ – because they are seeing the same, commoditized, standardized banner ad wherever they go.  

Given that they always have the same target to aim at – the luckless, 728 x 90 banner ad for example – standardization and commoditization of ad inventory makes fraudulent activity so much easier; they don’t have to think what size of rogue ad to throw into the programmatic machine. One size fits all.

Break all this down to a local level and the picture changes, however.

For one thing, there is the chance of a direct relationship between publisher and advertiser. They live in the same town, drink at the same bars…. they can talk through how, exactly, they might be able to differentiate their product offering to their mutual benefit.

“Small marketers… want someone who will listen and help develop a game plan. They need to sincerely believe that their money is working for them. Small publishers can deliver that. And when they do, sales and renewals come much, much more easily….” (Page 16)

Now we get to the killer piece, Page 17. Offer different ad sizes to normal. Mark yourself out from the crowd.

“…stepping outside of the traditional definition of digital display advertising is a powerful move. It strikes at one of the most fundamental weaknesses of ad networks and tech giants: standardization.”

Brilliant. You step away from the herd. And create fresh value and interest from a new ad format.

And a new pricing structure. That, likewise, breaks the mould.

Doesn’t play by the rules. You talk in a language that the local advertiser understands – ‘flat pricing’; price per month, not per thousand views.

“Your revenue should be built on blocks that you have determined — it should not be determined by the whims of Silicon Valley giants.” (Page 26)

Great, great line.

I want MFW/Norwich to take home £2,000 per month. That’s 20 x £100/mth ads. That’s simple maths. That doesn’t involve percentage shares of 1,000 views – all off granular, individual data the harvesting of which may be illegal from May 26.

The impact of GDPR doesn’t quite make it into BroadStreet’s ten-point action plan. It does mine.

So, look to the top. A mock up. Of a new 850 x 200 ‘headerboard’ ad we will offer to our friends at Norwich In Car Entertainment (NICE).

Bigger, bolder with the possibility of greater interaction; a three-slide show reel at the heart of the ad.

Complete with the ‘Advertise Here’ button for anyone who fancies following suit. All at £180 per month. Towards our £2,000 per month target.

Something new, something different, something that breaks the rules.

That’s what we like.

A lot.





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