February 15, 2007

Stuck in the Middle

Stuck in the Middle I was trying to explain the current state of Return Path’ Postmaster Network online advertising business (email lists, lead gen, RSS) to someone from outside the industry the other day, when it occurred to me that many online marketing vehicles are still split between running on the offline paradigm and running on the online paradigm.  I don’t have a lot of detailed stats on all of this at my fingertips, but bear with my observations. To me, the offline paradigm has always been characterized by big agency buys, driven by thematic/brand oriented creative campaigns that cost a fortune to develop.  This is even true to a large extent for direct marketing, although the mechanics are different.  It’s relied on lots of third party intermediaries to connect the audience (or more specifically, estimates of the audience) to the marketer.  It has paid all of these people on a percentage of the media spend, which is so massive that a 10% override on it can keep you in business and be dissociated from effort expended or value created.  Many of the original forms of online media — banners, lists — still operate partially in this world.  This part […]


November 6, 2006

A Tale of Two Strategies

A Tale of Two Strategies Two headlines right next to each other in today’s Wall Street Journal tell an interesting story.  First, they tell of Google’s strategy to allow advertisers to use Google’s web site to bid on and buy print advertising in over 50 leading newspapers. Then comes CBS’s strategy to bring in a new executive digital media M&A guru, Quincy Smith from Allen & Company, to “find the next YouTube.” (These links should work for a week, but I think that’s all the Journal allows – sorry!). So there you have it.  CBS’ grand interactive plans are about […]