Sunday, January 25, 2009

Putting the 'e' in CPM

Having recently spent a week in Las Vegas enjoying Affiliate Summit West, I had an interesting conversation that I thought might benefit some of our own publishers. It’s about the importance of “e” in eCPM. Most people that do any advertising are pretty familiar with what CPM, CPA, and CPC stand for. And I’m sure there will be a host of people which will defend the benefits of each one for being the best way to make money online. Fortunately when you enter the world of “eCPM” it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day it IS all about eCPM.

eCPM is really “effective CPM.” It means if you took all the revenue you made from CPM, CPA, and CPC advertising and adding them together to determine how much you are truly getting paid per 1000 visitors to your site. When evaluating any mix of advertising it’s always best to calculate your eCPM. I see CPA offers that garner $100 on a lead, while others $0.50. And while one may look more impressive than the other, it depends on how well it’s converting to determine which has a higher eCPM.

At WidgetBucks the same math applies since we mix both CPM advertising and CPC advertising. Since you’re able to earn revenue both in the volume of impressions as well as how many click through on the Shopping, Local, or Travel widgets, we boil everything together as your eCPM value. It is because of this performance companent that placement of widgets becomes essential to optimize your site visitors to earn you the most money. A widget placed in the footer of your site might receive a lot of impressions, however due to the placement will probably not have great CTR to lift the eCPM.

Thus when trying to evaluate the performance of your widgets, spend a moment to look at the Widget Detail tab and compare how your widget is performing both in CPM and CPC revenue and determine if changes should be made on placement or styles. Put the “e” back into CPM by letting WidgetBucks be more effective for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WidgetBucks Wins OnMedia ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Award

Each year, the folks over at AlwaysOn hand out various honors and distinctions, some en masse (AlwaysOn 250, OnMedia 100), others in a more singular fashion. That’s the case for WidgetBucks, which has been awarded the prestigious OnMedia 100 Newcomer of the Year award by AlwaysOn.

WidgetBucks was selected from among all OnMedia 100 winners, which are emerging companies recognized by AlwaysOn’s editorial team as game-changing players that are disrupting user behavior and creating new opportunities in the marketing, branding, advertising, and publishing industries.

We'd also like to congratulate the team at The Rubicon Project for winning the OnMedia "Company of the Year" Award.

The AlwaysOn editorial team took note of WidgetBucks’ progress during 2008, but we couldn’t have done it without you, our publishers.

Over the course of 2008, WidgetBucks:

  • grew 150 percent to 1.5 billion impressions per month, making it the fastest growing online ad network
  • signed over 20,000 publishers and bloggers across its network
  • broke into comScore’s Ad Net report, the first ad widget network to join the list
  • secured $10 million in Series B financing, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • deployed YieldSense, proprietary yield-optimization technology that maximizes publishers’ rate of return on their ad space
  • launched a “hybrid” CPC/CPM ad that creates two types of revenue from the same widget instance
  • expanded beyond its flagship shopping channel through new feeds and partners and its CPC network into Western Europe
  • added two chief officers – Chief Revenue Office Kirby Winfield and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bergstrom – who have generated over $3B in shareholder value through past acquisitions and mergers
  • won two other awards -- AlwaysOn Global 250, Mashable Open Web Award
Our CEO Matt Hulett heads to New York the first week of February for the OnMedia conference, where WidgetBucks and the other OnMedia 100 winners will be recognized.

Thanks again, publishers and bloggers! Here's to a great 2009!

- Dean

Friday, January 9, 2009

Top 5 Online Ad Predictions of 2009: Not All Doom & Gloom

No matter which way you look at it, 2008 ended on a down note for the online ad market. However, 2009 is not being viewed by all as doom and gloom. Even in a down market, online advertising will continue to evolve. We here at WidgetBucks think that 2009 will bring about some change, much of it positive, in the online advertising world, including:

  • Exchanges will start to weed out arbitrage: Much like Google, exchanges will weed out those who thrive on inefficiencies. Much like Google, exchanges want to make more money and squeezing arbitrageurs is a logical next step once you’ve carved out share.

  • Ad nets won't die. In fact, strong ones will gain influence: Vertical focus and inventory on sites that have high engagement will define success
  • Social Media advertising and widget use will come of age: Audience targeting emerges to create viable CPC and CPM inventory where remnant ruled before and widgets will come into their own as long as they make money for publishers, create engagement for brands, and provide value for users
  • Remnant display networks won’t die: Despite popular belief, networks representing remnant inventory will not go away but they will evolve. We think they will focus on performance based sales. Again it will all be about ROI.
  • Targeting won't just be a media sales person’s byword any longer: Real integrated behavioral targeting/affinity/demo/channel targeting will bolster movement of offline ad dollars online.
What changes in online advertising do you think will happen in 2009?

- Kirby Winfield
Chief Revenue Officer