AdExchanger.com: How did the InvestingChannel begin? And how has the company pivoted since it was first started?
neodymium : We started this clientele for a couple of key reasons, amongst others :
- The business was started as an advisory business designed to help financial media companies with their digital advertising revenue strategies. We quickly discovered that many of our clients required execution both on the ad sales and operations/optimization side and often lacked the resources, reach and expertise to effectively monetize their valuable audience.
- With the ease of content creation and the resulting proliferation of sites, particularly in finance, along with the desire for independent, trusted content, online audiences have dispersed to niche sites to consume content rather than the larger ‘big brand’ destinations. These audiences are highly coveted and desirable for endemic and non endemic advertisers but because of the fragmentation, lack of ad infrastructure and size, it is extremely difficult for advertisers to find and target these largely unduplicated audiences The business insights we gained from our consulting business coupled with the power and growth of the long/mid tail audiences led to the creation of InvestingChannel.
We started as a consulting firm. We moved at the request of many clients to the execution side first gear as a saturated fiscal leave generation collector of investor sites. now we entirely manage all aspects of a publisher ’ second ad products/revenue ( display, lead gen, e-mail, newsletters, fluid, television, conduct mail, and so forth ). In 2011, we are effectively evolving to a full-service gross engine for publishers including initiatives beyond advertise such as a subscription development business, content distribution and development, video and mobile tools, etc. Our ability to overlay audience data is besides key for the business in 2011 and will allow us to offer more desegregate campaigns to drive engagement/branding and enhance ROI.
What are the keys to growing a successful vertical ad network?
I could write a blank paper on this but to try and keep it brief, it ’ randomness about execution distinctly. For exemplar, it ’ randomness critical to understand what ’ s unique to the vertical, hire the veracious endemic staff, provide multiple services beyond banner sales/monetization, create functional efficiencies to scale, etc. however, what frequently times goes overlooked is the daunting infrastructure necessity to scale with hundreds of advertisers and publishers. That said, there are many networks out there and while it continues to be crucial to provide more and more advertiser services, we will besides be differentiating ourselves with more publisher services. That said, we are not simply an ad network and have efficaciously become one of the larger fiscal media companies providing multiple gross sources to our publishers .
Is Investing Channel profitable? Can you provide a sense of the company’s scale?
We have been profitable for years now, but are actively reinvesting $ ’ second back into the business. angstrom far as scale, we have now over 250 publisher partners representing 10 million + affluent and engaged visitors and hundreds of advertisers in the IC family .
How do you see audience buying and the growth of targeting with data affecting your business?
We have to continue to be smarter to target our audience more finitely. And while it is authoritative to use some of the commoditized data sources out there to facilitate this, as we are, it is good as or evening more significant to find data that is singular to our sits and/or network of sites. however, data target will be more critical for mass content/network plays versus highly vertical companies .
For publishers, how do you differentiate among other opportunities such as competing vertical (or not) ad networks and exchanges? Do you offer multiple digital formats, for example?
Yes, one means is to offer multiple ad products to combat some of the generic networks. however, that ’ south again where we are unique offering the like level of formats as a individual web site with a lot more efficiency across engaged users in recess sites. Publishers will besides need to be much more incorporate in their sales approach and hope that their sword and contextual relevance can sustain the more general network/data buy whether in or out of context. however, as mentioned above, we plan on offering more than just ad products to help our publishers such as capacity distribution.
What about agency trading desks -are you seeing or anticipating any impact from them? What’s your view on the Agency Trading Desks (ATDs)?
ATDS already have impacted the ad grocery store considerably…particularly for mass networks offering strictly banner solutions. This type of buying can be done efficaciously using data targeting in an exchange environment and/or with ATDs. While we do not work with any at this period, it will become necessity to integrate with some of these where the controls exist on both sides to facilitate a buy without cannibalizing the value for the publisher or the target for the advertiser .
Please share trends you’re seeing from your advertisers today.
Versus 1-2 years ago, we are again seeing longer term budget. While there has been pricing pressure across the industry, given how hyper-vertical we have stayed and the high measure consultation we represent, we have actually seen an increase in our CPMs and prize to our advertisers as we get chic with our targeting, manner of speaking and optimization. The great thing about our model is that cover sizes continue to increase as we are constantly adding premium content, sites and audience and not constrained like a single web site publisher .
We are seeing more advertisers wanting to push their content out there as a means of marketing and educating their hearing. This is particularly important in finance as it ’ s a much different deal than buying a shoe or flight. In Finance, contented has a much higher risk/reward than most other verticals and consequently, confidence is key .
Although the majority of advertise presently is inactive in standard creative types, the push towards social, video and mobile environments is on. An integrate approach to build hope and engage their target hearing is top of thinker .
What controls do you offer your publishers and how do you preventchannel conflict?
We only work entirely with managing our publisher ’ s ad inventory so there ’ s no sales channel conflict. however, they can absolutely control the type of ads seen on their site. Beyond this, we are building controls or rather products that allow our publishers to more effectively distribute message, sum message, drive subscriptions, create mobile/video capacity with our platform, etc .
What is the biggest challenge of running a vertical ad network?
once again, it relates to murder and of naturally the scale and infrastructure that is such an intricate character of this business. however, a close center constantly has to be kept on new ways of targeting, what ’ sulfur happening with ATDs, how are mass networks trying to be more vertical, etc. It ’ s obviously important to understand your competition, but vertical networks need to stay relevant by continuing to provide more services to their publishers AND advertisers. Again, while we are differentiating ourselves with the products we offer our advertisers through our publishers, we are besides providing tools for publishers beyond ad monetization that helps us create a true fiscal media company and not just a vertical ad network.
A year from now, what milestones would you like Investing Channel to have accomplished?
The news for us is double…double staff, gross, infrastructure, advertisers, publishers, products, etc .
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