Blog Archives

How in the world should I price that ad?

Greetings DMSers. One of the big conundrums with our digital media startup business plans is the revenue section. Most of you are using advertising in some way as a revenue source. Advertising is appropriate as long as its implemented in effective ways that do not turn off members of your market.

There are many details that you’ll need to think through in terms of your advertising plans. Some of those topics include:

  • What types of advertising will you use?
  • Where in your product will those ads appear?
  • In the case of sponsored content, how are you going to be transparent to your market in the labeling of these paid-for spots?
  • How much are you going to charge for each category of ad you’re going to sell?

To help get us started on that last bullet, take a look at some of these resources:

  • Quirk’s Online Advertising Guide: this is helpful to think of the different areas, sizes and options in web pages for advertising.
  • Digiday’s 2013 article showing how much it costs to run certain types of ads on well-known sites.
  • Promise Media offers a section identifying how to develop online ad rates, rates cards and more.
  • Association Media Publishing has a great list of key terms you need to be familiar with in the online advertising area. Some of these terms are also covered in Briggs but not all of them.

We’ll chat more about this in class as we continue to develop our business plans.


Is that a news story or a paid ad?

Good Mornings DMSers. We started a great discussion yesterday about corporate journalism, branded journalism and sponsored content. Just to make it more interesting, let’s also throw in these terms: content marketing and native advertising.

At our next class session, we’re going to continue this discussion by examining content samples to help differentiate these terms and to understand how they might apply to your digital media startups. Additionally, we’re going to dive into some of the ethical questions being discussed in news and PR circles on these topics.

Let’s also touch on this from a reader’s perspective: Can they differentiate between news and ads in the digital space? Does it even matter?

One of the sites we’ll examine is the Richmond Standard. As you’ll see in the following links, there are various points of view on this Chevron project:

A Chevron PR website pretends to be an objective news source, published in the Los Angeles Times.

Corporate Journalism is better than no journalism, a guest post published in PRNewser.

This article, which does not address the Chevron project, also sheds some interesting light on these topics:

What does the rise of brand journalism mean? For one thing, it means journalists have to up their game, published in GigaOm. I strongly recommend you dive into the hyperlinks within this piece.

I’m really looking forward to this conversation. Enjoy the articles.


Marketing & PR for your startup

Good morning DMSers. In today’s class we’re going to start diving into the marketing and public relations section of your business plan. A lot of ground to cover here.

Aside from the Briggs text, I’d like to share the following resources which may prove helpful in the coming weeks:

Demographics of key social networking platforms from Pew Research Center.

Connecting with Customers: How to Market to Their Emotions from Entrepreneur.

Bootstrapping Your Way to Success, also from Entrepreneur.

More to come at 2 p.m.


The Budweiser Dog and Ello: Am I part of their markets?

Happy Friday DMSers! I’m a little sad the rain has left us so quickly, but at least the clouds are still here. Makes it really seem like fall is coming.

Monday we’ll be diving into advertising. Nieslen did a global study of consumers’ trust in advertising in late 2013. I’ll be highlighting some aspects of this study.

You’ll need to decide if advertising is one source of money for your startup. In preparation for our chat, please contemplate the following questions and come to class with answers:

  • Given your lifestyle, name three locations where you see most ads in any given day?
  • Which ad techniques are a complete turn off to you? Bring example.
  • Which ad techniques do you actually pay attention to? Bring example.
  • What actually motivates you to purchase a product/service in the digital space?

One of my current favorite ads is this one from Budweiser. But, it does not motivate me to buy its products as I’m not within its market.


Finally, we have discussed the notion of a value proposition — what will your product offer that your competitors do not, Briggs page 261 — which is part of your business plan. I came across a great example of a value proposition within a startup’s mission statement this morning. Ello is a new social network, which some are calling the anti-Facebook. Check out its manifesto.  I think it is pretty well crafted. And, it seems to be helping Ello expand its market given the news reports about the product trending online today.

Contemplate your VP while you’re analyzing how advertising affects you as a consumer.


Is This Shopping Nirvana?

Good morning DMSers.

A few random items to share this morning…

Monday’s Verbal Pitch Session
Everyone did a nice job with the 60-second Problem-Solution exercise. I mentioned you need to be prepared to do a new pitch each week in class for the rest of the semester.

The verbal challenge you need to prep for next class session is…
You’ll have 60 seconds to focus on ONE feature of your product and how that feature improves the lives of your market.

One feature only. It should be the most important feature your product offers from your market’s perspective.

Instant Gratification via ShopThis
We’ve been discussing advertising — the good, the bad and the “let’s drive all our customers away” varieties. Check out this New York Times piece about ShopThis, which provides a way for consumers to instantly purchase products they see highlighted in stories or in advertisements.

Also note the partnerships behind this new endeavor. Many of you need to start thinking about how you’re going to integrate partnerships into your business plan materials. What’s in it for your partners vs. what’s in it for you and your startup business?

Ethics of Sponsored Content

Greetings DMSers.

Yesterday we started a discussion about revenue streams and how they link to the business plan you’re developing this semester. Under the trending category we briefly touched on the notion of Sponsored Content.

Yesterday, Ad Age published a wonderful article written by Michael Sebastian that you should read: News Organizations Face Tricky Trade-Off with ‘Sponsored Content.’

I anticipate Sponsored Content will be a topic of heated discussion on many fronts in the news and PR sectors. Keep an eye out for interesting pieces to share with the group.

This Friday’s blog topic focuses on advertising from the customer’s perspective. I look forward to reading your blogs identifying companies that do advertising well vs. those that do not.