After 20-plus years of working in publishing for brands as diverse as Inc., Fortune Small Business, Money, Martha Stewart Living, and the mother of them all, People, I recently joined Forrester as a senior analyst serving Marketing Leadership Professionals, covering monetization strategies and technologies for publishers.
Understanding publishers and how they thrive as organizations and businesses is my passion. I believe in the value of the content they create and the audiences they amass around that content. I also believe that without publishers and the content that is posted, discussed, and shared, social would be a pretty boring experience. There wouldn't be much to search if not for publishers and their content. And, if user-generated content was the only environment for digital advertising, there wouldn't be many ads bought.
But today, despite their crucial role in the communication and marketing ecosystem, publishers are struggling to stabilize their business model. Since the advent of ad tech, they’ve been struggling to keep a grasp on their businesses, searching for ways to stem the precipitous fall in CPMs, and sifting through literally hundreds of vendors that are eager to offer their services as a partner.
In the coming months, I will focus my research efforts on initiatives that can change the game for publishers. My first three areas of concentration are:
- Viewability, the upcoming implementation of an industrywide standard against which ads will be paid for based on a real opportunity for ads to be seen by users. This is the basis of my first report, which I expect to publish in the second half of May. I will share the key findings with you in my next post.
- Audience extension, or how publishers find look-alike audiences to extend reach for their best advertisers. This report will follow.
- Native ads, or best practices for the integration of marketing messages within content. This will be the subject of my third report.
These are hot-button topics, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions you'd like to share on these or any other subject of interest to publishers, please don't hesitate to let me know. We all need publishers to not only survive but also thrive.