Recession Proof?

March 20, 2008

Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of chatter in the media about a pending recession. Some may argue that the recession has already hit, and that it’s only going to get worse. Pending events like the US Presidential Election, coupled with the Bejing Olympics are top of mind as well.

I feel that performance based online marketing/affiliate marketing is recession proof.
Let’s think about this; if you’re currently spending money online for your company you certainly understand that there are numerous ways in which you can aggregate new users/viewers etc. You can purchase media on a CPM, CPC, or CPA. If you’re currently working in a CPM scenario and you have a budget that can handle that, great. But what happens if that budget is directly effected by a recession. You’d be forced to modify your offering to performance based only. This would entail your only paying for a paid conversion, or a user (depends on how you’d prefer to define an aquisition).

In this manner of advertising you’re still spending ad dollars, but only if you’re making money yourself. If you’ve done your homework, understand your allowable aquisition rate, and can back into the appropriate metrix….then you’re recession proof!

zanox Awards

March 17, 2008

This is pretty cool…we’ve compiled quite a list of awards over the years…take a look:

– 2007: International Business Award
– 2007: Innovation award for zanox-Fundraising@
– 2007: European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia – Platinum
– 2006: Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA
– 2006: Deloitte Fast 50
– 2006: European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia – Platinum
– 2005: Deloitte Rising Stars
– 2005: Founder Champion
– 2004: European Seal of Excellence – Gold
– 2004: German Entrepreneur’s Award
– 2003: Online Star
– 2002: Internet World Award

The zanox difference

March 12, 2008

Zanox offers a unique perspective due to the wide array of advertisers on our client roster. Networks do that don’t have that depth and breadth of experience of servicing multi-national advertisers are going to fall short in the long run. When Axel Springer (German media conglomerate that acquired zanox in 2007) (think Time, Inc in the US), has a meeting with Universal Mccann and they can introduce zanox to the digital directors of major brands, you’re officially on a different playing field. This gap between a multi-national like zanox and the rest will only widen over time.

All Advertising Online Should Be Performance Based

March 11, 2008

There, I said it. All online advertising should be performance based, period. For years I have been working with clients, and agencies alike all trying to make sense of their ROI online. At first we had the CPM model. During my time at Mediaplex, before it was a Valueclick company, and before the Ad Agencies saw them as a threat to their own in house media planning and buying teams, CPM was king. There were a few (to state mildly) issues with buying ads in a CPM scenario back then. Each third party ad server thought they were tracking impressions appropriately. Why was this a problem? Because if you’re an advertiser in 1999 and your using (for example) both Mediaplex, and Doubleclick to serve your ads, you may be paying $.33CPM for one and a $.44CPM to another. This may seem like pennies, but when you’re dealing with billions of impressions, the dollars start to ad up.

Back then this was OK….well sort of…that is until guys like Adam Gerber at The Digital Edge (Y&R) would start to ask questions about the impressions that he was purchasing on behalf of his very large, very demanding clients. I can recall Adam stopping me in the halls of the Digital Edge shoving a finger in my face, and saying “I want answers”….well the reality was that I had none for him. We didn’t really know if an impression was served or not. We could only assume based on certain variables. We could provide reports, but we could track that back to a sale. Some of the campaigns were strictly branding campaigns, which is great, but branding for who, how were they measured? Obviously this was a very qualitative not quantitative approach.

Then came CPC, and all was good in the world. Or so we thought. That is until fraud started to pop up.

Now we have CPA, or CPL, and this is the only manner in which an advertiser can actually track conversions. Why are you advertising online? To generate a conversion, whether it be a lead, or a sale…performance is the next step in the evolution in online marketing. Even in a branding exercises you need to track the conversions. If a click on a banner lands a user on a landing page, you want them to take action, not just view your landing page. If they view your banner, really how much “branding” is occurring? How can you quantify that? You can protect your brand by demanding you work with a transparent network, or you can protect yourself from fraud by demanding that you will only pay for a conversion after you’ve been able to confirm the pixel that’s fired, but you really can never quantify online advertising unless it’s performance based.

Outstanding Day

March 9, 2008

Today was a great day. i competed in a 4 mile New York Colon Cancer Challenge in honor of my grandfather Guy W. La Rosa (Papa). If he were alive, he would have celebrated a birthday today which helped to make the day even more special.

Things started out on a pretty funny note. Laura and I woke up at 6 am so we could leave the house by 7 am, and get to central park by 8 am, in order to have time to register, get situation etc…I popped out of bed feeling excited about being able to make this little dream of mine come true (this wasn’t a marathon, but still, what a great step in the right direction)! So, I get up, go downstairs to make coffee, and notice that the clocks are all sorts of messed up. I was prepared to the night before and manually changed the clock on my blackberry forward an hour. Little did I know that my blackberry would update on it’s own (via satellite), so now we were a full hour early. A silly start on a great day. Laura and I laughed at ourselves, and headed down to central park.

I had my zanox winter hat to keep my head warm, and my custom New York Road Runners shirt (it said “In Loving Memory …
Papa, I miss you)….

I blew through the 4 miles with a smile from ear to ear as I competed. I was shocked. I had been training indoors, and thought that running in the park would be so much harder. I think the combination of adrenaline, and the awesome positive energy of everyone in attendance helped me out.

I’m gonna go take a nap now.

New York Colon Cancer Challenge

March 7, 2008

This Sunday I’ll be competing in the New York Road Runners New York Colon Cancer Challenge. This is a first for me (although I did run in the corporate challenge about 200 years ago), I’ve never really been one to do the “organized race thing”….I think that’s going to change. The reason why I’m running is to help raise money for a Scholarship that I started (as a gift to my mother) a few years ago. The Scholarship is awarded every Spring at my Alma Mater (Mahopac High School). We try to give the award to students that are in good academic standing, and are planning to study music in college. It’s a really cool thing because I get to say a few words of remembarance about my grandfather. Keeping his legacy alive is very important to me and my family. Also, since his wife (my grandmother) passed last week, this year is especially important. I’ll be sure to share some photos next week.

Check out the view

March 7, 2008

Every once in a while, you have to stop and smell the roses. The other day I was sitting at my desk when a beam of light hit me out of the corner of my eye. As the sun set, I took a minute to turn my seat and look out the window. Thought I’d share the amazing view with you guys. Pretty cool right?

Affiliate Summit

March 4, 2008

VEGAS VEGAS VEGAS!! After a 5 hour delay of my flight in Charlotte (my own fault for taking a connecting flight from NY), I ended up in Vegas at 6am. A quick run to the Mirage for a hour nap, shower, and on the affiliate summit show floor by 10am. zanox was out in full force with our super star director of sales Adam Pattison being a trooper and flying in all the way from our london offices…and I thought I was tired when I hit the floor!! Rani Nagpal our VP of Affiliate Management, and Chris Loonan our Director of Operations all joined me at the booth.

zanox was easily the only international performance based ad network at the affiliate summit. It was exciting to talk to affiliates, as well as advertisers about our easy to implement solutions. It’s shows like this that make me want to pop out of bed in the morning. There are so many exciting things going on at zanox (opening our New York office, as well as opening an office in Poland) that there is truly nothing stopping us. We’re making our first real in roads into the US market, and you could feel the energy at out booth.

This year, we had a great contest running – Win two tickets around the world to the zanox office of your choice. Remember guys, we have offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris, Stockholm, Shanghai, and now Warsaw! All an affiliate has to do is sign up with zanox, and generate $10,000 in commission in the month of March, 2008. You obviously need to be of legal age, and have a valid passport, but c’mon, this contest is phenomenal! I’m sure a few of the guys that we spoke to are well on their way to winning the prize as a write this. Shoot me a note if you want more details.

So, now that the affiliate summit is over, we have lots of follow up work to do. There were so many affiliates that are interested in running our international offers I’m sure that Ad:Tech in San Fransisco is going to be just as, if not more successful.