In an effort to woo smaller — but potentially lucrative — advertisers, Weather.com will use Amazing Media’s “do-it-yourself” ad campaign system.
Amazing Media’s ASP system, AdVariant, lets advertisers design their own rich media banner ads, buy and schedule campaigns, and track click-throughs — all without the participation of a sales person from the publisher. And in conjunction with Weather.com’s localization features — users enter their ZIP code for regional weather information — advertisers can purchase campaigns to specific cities.
As a result, AdVariant is aimed at bringing in smaller, regional advertisers that would be too costly to pursue using a national sales force.
Since AdVariant works 24 hours a day, Amazing Media says the proposition is attractive to small business owners, who often manage their business by day, and handle marketing and planning after hours.
Campaigns up to $15,000 are purchasable through the system, and advertisers can pay with a credit card. Fairfax, Va.-based Amazing Media also handles all approvals, using guidelines set by the publisher.
While going after small advertisers may seem hokey at first, Amazing Media maintains that small business advertisers are a substantial source of revenue which are currently underserved by the online media market. And with Internet media’s current troubles — such as Yahoo!’s
slipping revenues — publishers need all the help they can get.
“National ad dollars aren’t as easy to come by, so small advertising buys are more attractive than they used to be,” said Amazing Media’s chief marketing officer, Michael Gallagher. “Still, we don’t want our ad sales force talking to advertisers who will spend $200 or $500 dollars a month. The idea is that it would be great if we had a way to automate those smaller sales.”
Added chief executive Todd Schmidt: “There’s such a market here… if the online ad industry is going to grow, I really think we need to … do a good job of tapping into the millions of small businesses that potentially could want to advertise online.”
Already, Weather.com said the partnership is paying off.
“In the short time that we have used AdVariant, we have seen over 200 advertisers register for this service, and weve exceeded our monthly revenue goal by 15 percent,” said Weather.com vice president of ad sales Joanne Vuylsteke. “This tool is really helping us cost-effectively sell significant portions of our local, online inventory.”
Similar efforts have been launched in the past by online yellow pages service CBS Switchboard.com, now-defunct ISP FreeInternet and search engine Google. Other plays, such as paid placement search engine GoTo (now Overture)
and Google offer do-it-yourself keyword-based ad buys.