Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Advertising and sanity

While not directly related to IT security or crypto, this topic also applies to all businesses working in IT security business. 

I was looking to place advertisement of our security-related product for developers on certain well-known site for developers. Target market, you know (well, kind of). However, the approach to business used by this site has shocked me. In year 2013 they still offer only banner advertisement on pay-per-view basis (and they are not alone in this mistake, BTW).

We all know well, that banners don't work as they are being blocked by ad blockers, which nowadays are built into browsers. CTR of 0,01% (yes, one click per 10K views) is a common result due to multiple reasons.  So pay-per-view banner advertising just doesn't pay to advertisers. $3000 per sale generated by such advertising is far beyond the common sense.

As ads don't work, this site seems to not get many advertisers. And what do they do? Instead of exploring other possibilities in site monetizing, instead of providing context-based or audience-based ads (including text and video ads) they .. sky-rocket prices and set minimum spending limits, trying to squeeze the income from those lonely advertisers.

And I could understand if they were a site for paying audience, that really generates good sales. In opposite, this is the site devoted and biased towards lovers of free lunch and open-source.

One would say that instead of writing this I would need to go and find some other place to advertise at and stop complaining. Well, yes, and that's what I am doing. But I want to turn everyone's attention to inadequate business decisions made by some web sites, and how those design decisions lead to lose-lose situation.

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