digital advertising

Fraud. Ad blockers. Mobilegeddon. Slow page loading. Low ad rates. Let’s face it: Digital advertising, which was supposed to rescue us from the decline of print, has run into a mess of problems this year on the way to saviorhood.

We magazine publishers have competitive advantages in dealing with these challenges, if we pay attention to our history and what we’ve learned from the print side of our business. After all, our industry has had a couple of centuries of trial-and-error with print advertising to find solutions to the same challenges that now bedevil the digital side of the house.

Here are few relevant lessons:

They Hate You; They Really Hate You

A recent Hubspot study found that the ads consumers hate the most by far are pop-ups and mobile phone ads, while magazine ads are the least objectionable. Hatred is rarely the beginning of a beautiful customer relationship.

Over the decades, magazine publishers have figured out ways to put advertising messages in front of readers without annoying them—and sometimes delighting them. Maybe that’s why the same publisher that’s happy to get a $2.50 CPM for programmatic ads wouldn’t dream of charging less than a $60 CPM for a print page. (Unfortunately, our mobile page views are booming while our print page views are shrinking.)

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By D. Eadward Tree, Publishing Executive

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