Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Partnerships key to 'pull' marketing

With web 2.0 heralding a shift from 'push' to 'pull' marketing, publishers are uniquely placed to produce creative commercial projects.

Lending editorial, cross-media or broadcast skills to partnership, speakers at AOP’s sponsorship and partnerships forum outlined how they are engaging users with quality sponsored content, for ‘joint kudos’ between media owner and client.

Providing value

Guardian News and Media sales director Chris Pelekanou spoke of the need for “transparency”, and getting away from the “buyer-seller mentality” to provide value for clients.

Advocating a “two-pronged approach”, with “direct contact with agencies and clients”, CondéNet’s commercial director, Serena Privett, said “this enables first-hand clarity on overall objectives” and managing client “perception of digital” versus traditional media.

In challenging times, such as the 2001 bubble, CondéNet’s commercial partnerships were crucial to the business' survival.

Advertising 2.0

Chris Pelekanou explained the importance of research in understanding how customers are consuming and organising content, and applying this to commercial partnerships. The most committed users foster community, which might present ‘advertising 2.0’ at its best.

  • A microsite built for Tourism Australia with itinerary planning and ‘share your experiences’ competition – cross-promoted in print produced 10,000 entries and an average dwell time of five minutes.

The potential of interactivity is particularly exciting to Channel 4’s clients, said group commercial manager of new media, Ed Couchman – creativity in this area is the broadcaster’s unique selling point in the face of mass-market competition:

  • A sponsored microsite for 10 Years Younger invited viewers to upload their picture and guess others’ ages – with 10,000 photos uploaded to date.
  • Ford Bite, a sponsored online video series invited bloggers to embed the shorts, with presenters’ pages on MySpace providing five per cent of referrals.

Agency Perspective

i-level’s media development manager, Tom Dunn gave his top tips for publisher-client partnerships, including:

  • Know “why you are here” - whether it is establishing credibility, educating your audience or repositioning a brand – that this is more than ‘badging’, and it is “believable”.
  • “Know what success looks like” for all parties at the outset.
  • “share pressures”, media owner and agency working to one timing plan “all parties feed into”.
  • Managing clients - establish “the one person who can say yes or no… and don’t let anyone else have that say.”
  • Never underestimate 'the power of the lawyer' - know who owns the data.}

Presentations available for members to download here

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