Evolve or Die! Next Gen. Business Models at SES



Today at SearchEngineStrategies New York, a panel of industry experts presented new revenue opportunities for publishers. This  group outlined various business models that are gaining traction and explained how old tried and true business models continue to evolve in the marketplace due to the needs of clients and the economy.

Publishers & Agencies: New Business Models for Changing Times” was moderated Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder, SEO-PR. The speakers were Erik Matlick, CEO, Madison Logic, Mark M. Edmiston, Managing Director, AdMedia Partners, Gill Torren, Associate Publisher, SC Magazine, Haymarket Media, Inc. and Murray Gaylord, Vice President, Marketing and Customer Insights, NYTimes.

They spoke about the immediate challenges and opportunities facing the marketing industry today. All 4 presenters touched on the evolution of traditional offline marketing strategies into integrated offline/online campaigns.

Mark Edmiston: Evolution at Web Speed

• Where are we and where do we go? It is becoming increasingly difficult to monetize visitors through 3rd party online advertising models.
•  It is not just the recession. Web marketing is not an efficient CPM platform. CPM based revenue will continue its fall in price and units.
• Web marketing is highly effective as a direct response model/platform. Performance based ads topped 61% in 2007 and is still growing.
• Secular trends are the driving force behind the changes. Add campaign efficiencies, accountability and trackability help to define specific ROI and are critical across all forms of media (offline/online).
• Ecommerce models are replacing Bricks and mortar models. This change parallels the growth in broadband.
• Performance based advertising  (PBA) supports e commerce sites. Like a hand in glove. PBA will continue to gain considerable share of the marketing landscape.

In 15 years Search has gone from “good luck finding anything” to “finding everything”. Too much is too much. It is really easy to get lost in the noise.

• General Search growth has slowed considerably.
• Precision/targeted search is taking the lead (Google behavioral targeting)
• Consolidation will become more prevalent. Microsoft/Yahoo.

Where do we go from here?

• Move up the sales cycle. Get closer to consumers the buying decision.
• Increase utility for the user. Stronger and deeper engagements will present a stronger post click experience and develop longer retail relationships.
• Develop multiple monetization option. CPC, CPA and even…..CPM (it will still have a place at the table).

Next up was Murray Gaylord. He took the audience on a quick trip down memory lane as we entered the advertising world of 1966.  The Media landscape was simple with few choices (Broadcast TV, Radio, Newspaper and Billboards).

Speed ahead 20 years to 1986 and the landscape had changed dramatically, the choices had quadrupled with inclusion of digital media.  The power still rested in the hands of the advertisers…although a bit tenuous….now 20 years further into the future and 2009 is a new animal that requires new approaches. This is the age of “My media”.

Users have become:
• Creator
• Distributor
• Programmer

Consumers are turning to each other to tune out the noise.

• Social networks are greatly affecting the direction that marketers are going with their campaigns and messaging. (Facebook, Twitter, blogospheres)
• The old Marketing 101 has changed with the evolution of a new sales funnel. There is no longer one straight tube into the funnel. It is now a multi-tubed creation born out of a Dr. Seuss story.

Mr. Gaylord offered up a case study of the New York Times as an example of how they are currently engaging the integration of online methodology into their offline universe.

The strategy is simple…Attract new users through new topical applications and engage current users at a deeper level.

• Employ competitive advanced web features. Videos, blogs, multi media and interactive elements
• Forge strong partnerships with well known and high traffic social media sites. (Twitter and Facebook).
• Integrate offline and online campaigns as much as possible
• Use social media in concert with there SEM and SEO strategies
• Utilize event based CTA’s that are brand relevant and of value to the consumer base.
• Ask the consumers to do something. Post-click engagement. Go deeper.

Erik Matlick took the lead on the topic of lead generation.
• Marketers main priority for 2009 is achieving a measurable ROI.
• There has been a pricing model shift. Performance advertising is on the rise and CPM advertising is on the decline.
• Search is leveling out. There are only so many searches you can do. It is reaching critical mass.
• Display advertising is in decline.
• Lead generation, although only a small piece of the pie currently, is growing dramatically.

Why is search successful? Because it is centered around the consumer.

• Ease of use
• Single point of entry (google)
• Lees time to manage (In comparison to traditional offline models). Better ROI.
• Critical reach
• Market driven. Immediacy.
• Standards in ads. (google)

There are certain challenges in Lead Generation, namely the fragmentation (scale, pricing, quality, standards).

The future of lead generation is strong. “Advertisers use one platform to generate the most qualified leads on the best blockbuster brands and long-tail traffic”.  It is the most focused and targeted model available.

Last but not least was Gill Torren. He presented a case study of how his firm utilizes web marketing models in different capacities in concert with their existing offline base.

• Lead Generation media. Webcast series, Virtual conferences, expo series, White paper directories.
• They created gated premium content to go deeper with existing clients and sponsors.  Created value in premium content and sponsorship opportunities.
• Sponsors gained access to the most important leads.
• White paper directory to leverage advertiser contact. Cost per lead campaigns at a low entry point. Leveraged advertiser created content

In conclusion:
In a challenging market publishers need to increase value to advertisers by bringing them closer to the sale. Create trade programs that coexist with traditional media and choose your tech partners carefully. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.



  1. Durward Sobek on March 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    The panel of industry experts has presented various business models for creating new dynamic strategies is great.

  2. Peter Provost on March 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm


    Thanks for the response. I am glad you enjoyed the information. It has been a very interesting week here at SES New York. Integration seems to be themain buzzword. It is an exciting time to be in SEO and SEM. With the recession there is an evolution of opportunities that require creative approaches. Very exciting.

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