Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Understanding Your Online Inventory

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Understanding Your Online Inventory

Article excerpt

BEFORE YOU EVALUATE AD NETWORKS, you need to have a strategy for your inventory and know how you want to monetize it. "Not a lot of people think about their inventory," says Rodney Mayers, general manager at Adify Media, which offers back-end support to ad networks.

Broad networks like Advertising.com and Tribal Fusion will take any unsold inventory you have. "Some networks will say, 'We'll take your impressions and anything we sell, great. Anything we can't sell we'll give back to you,'" says Mayers. "The problem with that is they trade in pork bellies--the highest-paid impression may be 25 cents. If you have enough 25-cent impressions on your site, your effective CPM diminishes. A $5 CPM comes down to $1.25 or so. The large publishers are struggling with third party networks that soak up the impressions and sell off to the lowest bidder."

When evaluating networks, ask if the deals give you the CPM that you want. "For the high value home page or high traffic page, you may want to do integrated marketing," says Mayers. "If you want that type of advertising, the network may not deliver it. In this case, maybe adding another salesperson is cost effective."

If an ad page gets only one or two hits, the publisher has a couple options; take all ad tags off that site or send it off to an ad rep or ad exchange. "Just like with a print magazine, if I add an advertiser to the last page, I need to create more content pages," says Mayers. "One more page may not make a difference to the readers. …

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