Google’s done pretty well with text ads based on keyword search. But do content page keywords really unleash the potential for Weather.com beyond “cumulous clouds,” or for MSNBC.com beyond “election results?”
In fact, media sites such as Weather.com and USAToday.com are likely to attract a certain type of person that may be ready to do something (i.e., get on a plane). Performance-based text ads for such sites might get better matching based on demographic or psychographic characteristics vs. keywords. And they’ll generate a higher CPM at the same time.
That’s the thinking behind Pulse 360, a text ad provider from SeeVast that sells and places text ads for a number of premium publishers, including CBS TV stations, Gannett Digital, Comcast, World Now, the AP, Newsweek.com and MSNBC. The 50 person company, with headquarters in New York City and an additional office in Buffalo, is historically known for the Kanoodle search engine, but Pulse 360 is its primary activity today.
“We’re not the answer for a Bruce Springsteen song lyric site,” notes CEO Jaan Janes. But when it comes to hitching a ride on a news, finance or sports story, he suggests that Pulse 360 is among the industry’s leaders, and cuts broader and deeper than similarly positioned ad networks. “Google search is lead fulfillment, but we are about lead generation and consumer discovery on content pages. We are marketing to the audience.”
Janes adds that Pulse 360 does especially well with broadband providers because of the favorable media characteristics and audiences that they bring to the table. “We love broadband portals like Comcast.net,” he says.
While the economy is tight right now, the company has actually had a record year, and is turning a healthy profit. “Performance-based marketing is never going to slow down,” says Janes. Local advertisers, however, are not a prime target.
“We have great local distribution,” says Janes. “But how do I inspire ad spending from local businesses? To bid a buck to sell an $8 pizza makes no sense.” Janes does envision business, however, from higher priced local merchants such as window replacement or driveway repair.
Up next, Pulse 360 is launching a Cost Per Action network to complement its text-based services. A number of large advertisers now routinely insist on CPA. Its availability will help round out Pulse’s offerings. “We have a built-in ad base to start with,” says Janes. “We should have done this four years ago.”