Author: Keith Sibson

Marketing and Product Innovator and Strategist. Vice President at PostUp Digital

PERSONALIZATION DOESN’T SOLVE THE REAL PROBLEM

1-to-1 personalization was nearing the end of the marketing hype cycle, when it suddenly morphed into something-something Artificial Intelligence. Regardless of how it is actually implemented, personalization is not the solution to publishing industry’s main problems: how to counter decreasing advertising CPMs and how to take back control of their audience from the platforms. At best, personalization can increase engagement of already engaged subscribers. As a solution, it’s got more in common with the “show more ads on the page” strategy for increasing revenue than it does with something that can actually change the course of publisher business models.

I expand on this in my contributor post at the Association of National Advertisers: The Truth Behind Personalization: Why It Doesn’t Solve Publishers’ Biggest Problem

THEY GIVETH, THEN THEY PUNCHETH YOU IN THE FACE

I was interviewed by Erik Sass at MediaPost about publisher strategy in the sometimes adversarial relationship between publishers and platforms. I love his opening line: “The platforms giveth, then they puncheth you in the face.”

Facebook, Google Squeezing Publishers Again

Publishers casting about for alternative ways to reach (and take possession) of their audiences are giving another look to older channels like email, according to Keith Sibson, vice-president of product and marketing at email platform PostUp. He noted publishers can also benefit from growing concern among advertisers about brand safety on the platforms.

“It’s a good opportunity for publishers to try to rekindle the direct relationship with advertisers and audiences.  Publishers themselves have become reliant on those very same platforms as traffic sources … One good way to hedge the risk centers around building a direct relationship with your audience is through channels like email. We’re not telling anyone to quit Facebook, Google, but don’t let it become their primary business,” said Sibson.

When it comes to audience-building strategies, Sibson said PostUp clients have had success converting traffic referred by the platforms into subscribers: “Of course, they do programmatic like everyone else, they get traffic from Google and Facebook like everyone else, but they view them as an opportunity to convert temporary short-term traffic into a long-term relationship.”

HOW PROGRAMMATIC HAS HURT PUBLISHERS

This is a byline I wrote for PerformanceIN. While PerformanceIn is an advertiser focused publication, publishers are a critical part of the ecosystem so their woes should be of concern to advertisers.

The gold rush to programmatic created a digital “tragedy of the commons,” with too many publishers providing too much inventory supply, and CPMs began to plummet. This might sound like a good thing for advertisers – after all publisher revenues are advertiser costs. But publishers are supplementing their falling revenue simply by placing more ads. This hurts the reader experience, erodes trust, and reduces ad performance due to systemic “ad blindness.”

How Programmatic Has Hurt Publishers and Why Advertisers Should Care

Marketing Strategy Interview

I was interviewed by Martech Advisor in what started as a bio piece for me and PostUp, and turned into a discussion of marketing strategy.

Interview with Keith Sibson, VP Product and Marketing at PostUp

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?

The technology is interesting, but not as interesting as the clear business model it enables and is built around. As an email marketer, if a given initiative does not clearly map to one or more of the levels in the email revenue funnel, then you are wasting your time. Also, initiatives closer to the top of the funnel are more impactful, because they “cascade” down the funnel. It’s easier to achieve a 10 percent increase in list size than a 10 percent increase in the click-through-rate.