Now before I go further, it's probably best to reveal (though it may be plainly evident) that I have some skin in this game. Ad Age and Creativity, two media products which I run, are among those chasing the marketing dollars of these digital players. Not just to fatten our bottom line, though, but because it makes sense.
It's this simple: Any player in the digital space that counts on ad dollars for their survival won't get them unless they can differentiate their product or service in the eyes of marketers and clearly articulate the need for, and relevance of, their offering. Think of the advertisers as investors in the business. You need to win them over to why your product will succeed in a sea of media and why it's worthy of their dollars.
Still, I find too often that when I ask a tech-based new-media company what they're doing to tell their story to advertisers, the answer is little or nothing. Not to oversimplify, but at times it seems they believe the ad dollars will just materialize, that because they believe so passionately in their products everyone else will.
I'm not saying marketing is the only path to those dollars, but raising awareness and establishing a position is a start. Yes, I clearly believe Ad Age and Creativity would benefit from that by helping those companies reach our audiences in innovative ways, so there's my motive. But it also just comes down to good business sense. If you don't raise your hand, you don't get called on.