By Nate Gawel June, 2011 Blog

The Main Event – Content vs. Scale

Ladies and gentlemen, in one corner we have Premium Content weighing in at high CPMs, guaranteed inventory and brand safety.  In the other corner we have Scalable Audience Buying weighing in at low CPMs, performance-based inventory and questionable content.  Which side are you on?

While HBO will not be featuring this slugfest on Saturday night, this video below might interest you if you live and breathe digital advertising every day.

The Shift is On – Buying Audiences Instead of Content :: Digiday Target Panel

During the DigiDay: Target keynote panel, The Shift is On – Buying Audiences Instead of Content, members of the digital advertising community spoke candidly about the future of display advertising.  To be fair, with a background in search marketing, I am biased towards the platforms that provide scale, efficiencies and are based on performance. However, I can understand the importance of premium content.

In short, as presented by the panel, the pendulum is swinging to the advantage of the media planner/buyer.  While the digital landscape is becoming more fragmented, traditional online media is becoming easier to plan and execute.  The opportunity that ad exchanges, private exchanges and demand side platforms are bringing to the market is another venue for advertisers to reach a larger audience online.  This venue challenges the dollars that may have been routinely spent on large name brand websites.  I think as an advertiser, before moving your money into this new space or keeping it in your comfort zone, you should answer some of these questions:

  • What does premium content mean to you? This phrase is thrown around often.  Does it mean local content? Does it mean web only publishing or perhaps content developed by respected authors?
  • What is the objective of your online dollars? Are you trying to drive online actions?  Do you want to be associated with certain publishers?  Are you supporting offline buys?
  • What does brand safety mean to you? Are these trusted, unquestioned providers of content?  Does having transparency of site level satisfy your needs or do you need guaranteed placements?

It is important to consider your objectives, client needs and business needs before venturing into these platforms.  Beyond these questions, what else would you ask of your client? Where do you see the online dollars shifting?