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My Personal Business Daily Finance Balance Sheet: What We Achieved and How [part #1]

I'm leaving my position as the Internet Manager at the business daily Finance in about 5 days. It's been incredible, but now new challenges await.

Well, there are two more important projects that I need to finish in these few days: publish the book on marketing communications and law, and hold the best farewell party ever:)

This might also be a good time to review my personal balance sheet of the time spent with Finance, the good and the bad, and what we achieved during this time.

Let's start with the good (and what we did to achieve it, so there are a few lessons to be learned here), and hope that all this doesn't come out as bragging:)

1. Achieving the #1 internet media ad property position

Under my leadership, we won the #2 position among the top Slovenian internet advertising properties, bettered only by the #1 Slovenian search engine, but won first place among internet information media.

The really interesting part here is that our web site,, only reaches about 8% of the Slovenian internet population, although this is the most sought after population --> people in business and people with the most buying power.

The search engine that got the better of us reaches more than 80% of the Slovenian internet population, and the web site that came in third, just behind us, reaches more than 35%.

How did we do it?

a] We turned key internet advertising agencies and media buyers in to strong strategic partners, hugely increasing the business we got from them.

b] We introduced new cutting-edge internet advertising formats (such as full-page interstitial ads and surround sessions) and became known for them in our market. Most other publishers either avoided them or followed a very strict ad policy that was scaring away their advertisers.

c] We introduced extreme flexibility and customization when it came to serving our clients, even prepared banner ads for them if they didn't have their own ad agency, and provided them with additional services and strong customer support. Advertisers became our #1 priority.

This again was an important competitive advantage, as other publishers did very little to cater to individual advertisers, especially if no additional direct income was to be earned.

d] We put additional effort in to educating and helping our sales reps (who naturally still focus on print ad sales) better market the internet ad operation; preparing proposal for their clients, helping them identify key internet ad sales prospects and their probable needs, organizing special educational events etc.

It is however important to understand that our sales reps are already top notch, although they are not comforable selling internet ad space, since this is too "new" to them.

e] Additional effort was invested in personal presentations at various advertising agencies, media buyers and key accounts, as well as personal communication with them.

f] We aggressively approached lifestyle and even Fast Moving Consumer Goods advertisers, thus breaking away from our standard business audience.

g] Aggressive PR activities at national marketing and advertising events, positioning ourselves as the top cutting-edge internet ad property that reaches the strongest Slovenian audiences with the greatest buying and decision-making power.

h] We developed new ad projects that integrated print and internet advertising, thus making it easier for our sales reps to sell internet advertising, as well as generate additional income through up-selling and cross-selling deals.

Naturally, the fact that the Finance brand is strongly positioned in the Slovenian market helped a great deal, not to mention the combined efforts of our sales reps and the ad sales management team.

What's also interesting to note is the structure of our internet ad sales revenues (January - August):

Classical banner ads: 58,57%

E-mail advertising: 17,01%

Advanced internet ads (floater ads, interstitials): 14,43%

Sponsored links: 0,08%

Special ad projects (print and internet integration): 9,90%

As you can see, classical banner ads, which were once bringing in more than 95% of total internet ad revenues, have now been reduced to 58,57%. This is still alot, but it does show that other ad formats are gaining momentum.

We've become especially dependant on advanced internet ads.

Sponsored links really aren't a relevant ad format for Finance, since is a business news internet medium.

In terms of internet ad sales we also found that advertisers still don't care enough about their internet advertising, namely, more than 50% of them don't even care to see the general statistics for their campaigns, while most don't even care how many people and who their campaign will reach. The chances of this happening increase with the relative decrease of the total campaign budget alocated to the internet (but we are still talking about large absolute numbers).

To be continued tomorrow ...

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