Brand Advertisers, Your Move! What’s valuable inventory?

There have been many stories lately focusing on how to evaluate your inventory if you are an online publisher. Major publishers dropping adnetworks, social media CPM compromising Google’s numbers, announcments by publisher service firms on pricing, etc. etc.

What all these get to is defining what is valuable inventory. Again, ask a performance marketer and they point specifically to “gross profit dollars” in evaluating a placement. Performance marketers are only as good as their latest collection of creative or offers and how is performing versus a segmentation of their inventory (by publisher, by placement, by creative, etc.)

Ask a brand marketer, who is paying 10 – 20x the rate for the same inventory and usually you get things like unduplicated reach and frequency and a soft review of a metric.

Andrew Chen, an expert in the field, has suggested that equation for evaluating your revenue is the following:  (p.s., I encourage you to read and subscribe to Andrew’s blog)

Brand revenue = # campaigns sold * average campaign size * brand CPM
Direct response revenue = (total impressions – brand impressions) * remnant CPM
Total revenue = Brand + remnant revenue

Here’s the post:

I, of course, agree with him, but it also begs the next question:

How are those impressions displayed?

Case 1: A brand advertiser might purchase a 7-day buy on the front page of for example, however there may be 10 other “advertising” placements by on this page, either brand or performance based.

Case B: The same brand advertiser may buy on the “New Cars” section and there may be zero placements from brand or performance marketers on these pages.

Which inventory for a brand advertiser is more valuable? Does it matter?

If there are no standards, what I am doing if I am a publisher focused on ROI is coming up with a way to optimize inventory that:

– creates many many impressions

– optimizes performance marketing on pages that *have* brand advertisers

Does this sound like inventory that a brand advertiser wants?

It’s time for brand advertisers to take accountability and describe either through standards or IO the type of inventory they want and what it means for their brand. The onus is on them. Further, the onus is actually on advertising agencies specficially who control a vast amount of spend for brand-based advertisers.

This should be part of the service that they are peddling to their clients.

More on the value of inventory later this week, including a follow-up to this piece:


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