With the recession accelerating the shift of marketing budgets from print to online, b-to-b publishers are hungry for new business ideas. Exemplifying the trend, a capacity audience turned out last month for American Business Media's panel discussion “What Online Models Are Working Today?” The free seminar was held at Scholastic International's New York office.
Bruce Rogers, chief brand officer of Forbes Media, said the measurability of the Web has led marketers to favor direct response efforts online. “But brand advertising works on the Web, even though 99% of the people viewing an online display ad do not click on it,” he said.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of display advertising, Forbes.com uses a third-party firm to measure the impact of online ads on brand awareness and favorability; message association; and purchase intent.
Forbes.com combined branding and ROI components in a campaign for Microsoft Corp. The software company was the exclusive advertiser for an editorial video series called “Business Visionaries” that “had traffic obligations and impression guarantees, like a traditional CPM buy,” Rogers said.
Forbes.com kept some content and opportunities to interact with thought leaders behind a registration wall that required visitors to fill in 16 fields of personal information. “We were able to turn over a database of highly qualified people that Microsoft could put a dollar value on very easily,” Rogers said.
Nielsen Business Media is using creativity “to give advertisers opportunities beyond banners,” said Lisa Sullivan-Cross, VP-online for Nielsen's Marketing, Media and Visual Arts Group. She shared an example of a Super Bowl program from the AdWeek Group.
“We developed a microsite where we housed the Super Bowl ads right after they ran during the game,” she said. Since last year's version of the Super Bowl site didn't yield much traffic, Sullivan-Cross hoped to boost this year's traffic with social media, including the hot micromessaging platform Twitter.
“This year we had five times the unique visitors as last year because we had more promotions and the viral effect of social media,” she said.”This year we've had over 1 million video views so far, and it's only been a couple of weeks.”
The program was monetized through sponsorships ranging from $20,000 to $100,000.
John Chalon, who until recently was VP-group publisher of Penton Media's entertainment technology group, provided an example of a program at BroadcastEngineering.com that brought in revenue with little associated editorial cost.
“We created a content management system where vendors, with a password and ID, could upload their own press releases,” he said. After a quick review by someone from editorial, “we posted press releases that were relevant to our industry every single day. We monetized that content by creating a newsletter and selling sponsorship against it.” M