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AJAX and ad revenues: Mediaweek article

Ajax Puts Web Ad Sales in Peril

I ran a couple of sessions for a major publisher the other day on new business models under ‘web2.0’ (or “the modern web” as I’m now taking to called the webinet: not sure what the ‘post-modern web’ will be, though…). Now isn’t the time to cover those new business models, rather I was thinking over the very real concern over the maintenance of the current ad sales revenues while the new options build up.

The Mediaweek article gives a good summary of the position and concerns, but overall is too ‘hands in the air’ for my liking. There’s an opportunity for media and retail property owners to work more closely with brands and advertisers to investigate the value points in the customer cycle and to then divvy up the proceeds accordingly.

The following quotation sums up “old think”:

Some buyers say that regardless of how the Web is sold, all that matters is that their clients’ ads are seen. “Everyone in our industry is very focused on scale and impressions,” said Alan Schanzer, managing partner, MEC Interaction. “Until we have real-time measurement of engagement for brand ads, I want to know that my target audience is spending time on a page that displays my ad.”

ie ‘never mind whether the ad converts to sales or actions – just so long as it’s waved in front of people’s eyes’.

If anything shows the unsustainability of our current model it’s a quote like this. We’ve measured hits and page impressions simply because we could, and build an inference of value and inference upon these metrics. There’s no substitute for sales information, though, and a combination of campaign-level ROI tracking and improved measures of “influence” will in time make page/hit tracking as antiquated as the belief, prior to anaesthetic, that the pain of the operation kept patients alive. Indeed.