Only tech portals will make money on ads: Expert

By : |September 29, 2000 0

NEW DELHI: Only those vertical technology portals that are focussed on technology can make sufficient money out of Internet advertising, according to Marc Miller of Engage Asia, a US-based firm that advises both online companies and advertisers on their online media campaigns. Therefore, the likes of ZDNet, CNet, and closer home technology portals such as ciol.com are the likely money earners from advertising-based revenues. Other portals must look for alternative sources of revenues, added Miller.


Miller stated two reasons for this. On the one hand it is the technology companies that are seen to invest heavily on online campaigns, like the IBMs and the Ciscos. Therefore, it is only natural they choose technology-related sites. On the other hand, Internet penetration is still not at appreciable levels. The most likely bets of people being online are the technology-oriented p professionals such as Managers of Information Systems in the company, who essentially make the technology-related investment decisions in the company. Therefore, such campaigns not only get the highest response rate but also result in the maximum transaction. A transaction is being defined as registration at the site of the company after attracting the traffic up to the site, it could mean signing up for the some campaign or it could even result in a purchase order.


Several other factors attribute to the success or failure of an online campaign. For instance, the content on the site plays a major role in the success of an online campaign. Says Miller, “The success of a campaign launched on a content-driven site is definitely much more than on the homepage of, say, an ISP.”


Depending on the objective of the online campaign, advertisers should chalk out their plans. If the objective is to build a brand, then the campaign can be innovative, like in the case of Citibank ads where the impact of the campaign is more significant. The advertiser can choose a fixed number of sites to run the campaign. If the objective is to draw response, then the campaign has to be more dynamic, and advertisers would do better to go through a network and run the campaign on a spectrum of sites. The campaign has to be monitored each day and depending on the response, the campaign can be focused on a few, thereby optimizing the effect of the campaign. However, the Internet Advertising industry in Asia is still at its nascent stage, considering that the online advertising industry forms less than 10 per cent of the overall advertising industry.


Engage India, based in US, is likely to set up office in India soon. It has a major operations center in Hong Kong. According to Miller, the Indian Internet market is just getting matured. The company will most probably be based in Mumbai with offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. However, the company already has the buying rights of several Indian sites such as Rediff, Satyam Infoway, indiatimes and ciol.com.

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