Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media

Loose notes from SXSW 2007 panel Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media

Tony Conrad, Sphere
John Battelle, Federated Media Publishing
Toni Schneider Automattic Inc

Discussion of new ways to monetize the blogosphere, to measure attention streams rather than just page impressions (especially as things like Ajax are making CPM metrics less reliable). Relationship between marketers and the blogosphere.

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Missed first half of this session…

FM (Federated Media) is great, but they have, like 120 bloggers. What about the other 20 million? Show of hands: About half of bloggers would like to make money off their blogs.

There’s a vacuum out there that people are starting to fill with solutions other than AdSense. If there was a network to serve them, they’d jump on it. People are going into with the right intentions, but without a solution to serve them. FM and others are serving only the high end, leaving the rest of us to swim in the AdSense soup.

The habit of advertisers is that they only want to deal with a handful of A-list sites. FM’s goal is to get Intel, MS, Hp to agree that FM can move in and sell ads on all those B-list blogs. But it’s hard to get them to change their thinking.

Plane crash mode: CNN is about to cover a plane crash, and there’s a United ad. No time to call the agencies etc., they just pull it. This is what John did when he posted an MS-critical post while MS was his only advertiser. They went into plane crash mode and pulled those ads – just ran house ads for a while. In the end MS wasn’t mad, but all agreed it made sense for them to have pulled the ads.

You must have honest/transparent conversations about this stuff. Don’t leave it all up to the agency. YOU need to dig into your community and figure out what they feel.

Marketers are terrified of criticism, even though it’s the best medicine for them. When a hotel screws you over, but then totally compensates and upgrades you or something, then suddenly they’re your favorite hotel. Marketers have this opportunity every day. But they don’t take advantage of it.

Brilliant Dice.com ad: 7’41” of average interaction time. “Does your tech job suck?” And the ad itself is a live IM window – anyone can type into it and have a global conversation about how they hate their jobs.

There are cases where advertisers buy space on a particular blog just to get the attention of the blogger.

What Boing-Boing likes ad-wise is stuff that’s “additive” to the content/style of BB.

Some people are deeply good at getting attention.

2 Replies to “Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media”

  1. Hey John – Sorry we didn’t hook up. Had to run out immediately after your session. Intended to ping you for a meetup, but it didn’t work out. Thought I should focus on hooking up with peeps from other coasts. Great session though – thanks!

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