Seismic shifts are underway in the digital advertising world. While some publishers cling to the ad-driven revenue model that has sustained the industry for generations, others are furiously working to branch out from this crumbling paradigm…

In a new article for Publishing Executive magazine, Purch CEO Greg Mason explains the perils that today’s publishers face and suggests ways that companies can evolve in order to succeed in the digital age — from reconsidering the pivot to platforms to taking control of data-rich tech. You can read Greg’s full article on Publishing Executive.

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By Eric Sherman

Time and Meredith tried and tried to merge, but the marriage wasn’t to be. Greg Mason, CEO of digital media company Purch, tells host Alex Sherman the problem is magazine companies just aren’t very good businesses. That makes it difficult to find a price where banks are willing to provide financing and both sides want to strike a deal. Legacy publishing companies with big brand names should turn to technology developed by digital media companies…perhaps like his own.

To listen to the podcast please click here

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Be Relentless – The Relation Between ROI And Engagement

To listen to the podcast click here

Greg Mason joined Purch as Chief Executive Officer in 2012, bringing over twenty years of product development and innovation in technology media and digital publishing. Greg is responsible for implementing the company’s strategy of unifying content, commerce, and community, which has shepherded in accelerated growth, success, and scale.

Prior to joining Purch, Greg served as Executive Vice President of Consumer Services at WebMD. Prior to that, he spent eleven years with CBS Interactive and CNET Networks where he held a variety of global operational roles, culminating in the leadership of the entire technology and news portfolio. Before his time at CNET, Greg spent a combined eleven years with Ziff Davis and International Data Group (IDG) in various publisher, sales, and sales management roles.

He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in marketing at the University of Nevada-Reno and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.

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The New Business.com Platform Underscores Purch’s Position as a Leader in Connecting High-Intent Buyers and Performance-Based Marketers in Both SMB and Consumer Markets

(New York, April 25, 2017) Purch, a next-gen digital publishing and marketplace platform, announced today the launch of the new Business.com, a content and commerce marketplace that brings together industry-specific communities of small business owners with the experts who can help them understand and grow their business.

“Business.com is a revolutionary disruption of the small business model, providing business owners with the tools, services, and expert and peer advice they need to grow their businesses,” says Greg Mason, CEO of Purch. “The SMB community is the backbone of the American economy, but, up until now, we have failed to give them the resources they need to succeed.  With Business.com, Purch has built a platform to serve those businesses throughout their lifecycle, from budding start-up to global expansion.”

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The new Business.com builds upon Purch’s already robust community of 5.7 million SMB members. Key features of the new Business.com include:

  • First-of-its-kind combination of expert content, in-depth advice and Q&As, reviews and tools – all focused on helping SMBs succeed;
  • Innovative SMB marketplace that connects small business owners with the right products and services specific to their business needs;
  • Unique membership and services model that provides Business.com members with cashbacks and other incentives, in addition to discounts on products that SMBs buy frequently.

Business.com will focus on 15 key industries, including restaurants/hospitality, construction/general contracting, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, travel, and financial services.

The relaunch of Business.com bolsters Purch’s growing portfolio of Business-to-Business brands and services, including BuyerZone, the leading online marketplace for buyers and marketers of SMB products and services, and Business News Daily, which empowers small business owners to lead and grow their businesses with clear and actionable buying advice and how-to information. In the coming months, Purch will be announcing an array of new features, functionality, and integrations on Business.com and the company’s growing SMB platform.

To learn more about Purch and its owned and operated sites, please visit www.purch.com.

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Purch is a digital publishing and marketplace platform uniquely positioned at the intersection of content, commerce and customer. By combining in-depth product reviews, comparisons, and services with industry leading publisher technology, Purch creates a seamless connection between intent-based buyers and sellers. The company generates more than $1billion annually in facilitated commerce through its tech, shopping, lifestyle and SMB brands, including Tom’s Guide, Top Ten Reviews, ShopSavvy and Business.com. With more than 1,200 product categories, Purch is the #1source for buying advice for more than 100 million people each month.

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By AdExchanger

The Sell Sider is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Greg Mason, CEO at Purch.

The New York Times made its own headlines when it recently acquired Wirecutter, the five-year-old online product review site, for an estimated $30 million.

For one of the world’s biggest and most respected publishers, the acquisition of a niche site like Wirecutter is a low-risk and small-scale investment and builds on its roots in service journalism, as reflected in its news and lifestyle coverage. The New York Times sees itself as an essential service and Wirecutter is an extension of its commitment to servicing users.

But the real reason for the acquisition pertains to publishers’ concerns about the future of the traditional advertising market. Wirecutter is a way to combat this. It’s a very utilitarian site, and with so many lifestyle sites and general content, these niche plays that go beyond entertainment have tangible value, particularly to augment a generalist media entity.

The New York Times realizes the value of serving a lower-funnel audience with purchase intent and the money to be made off this model. The Times’ readers are not coming to the site with a purchase in mind, but that’s their intention when they visit Wirecutter. The acquisition is a way for the publisher to get a slice of this ecommerce spend – on content where it makes sense.

The Times and other publishers aren’t just suffering from the decline of print ad dollars. They simply aren’t seeing the growth they expected or need from digital ads. Facebook and Google are taking 70 cents on every new digital ad dollar and the fight for the remaining 30 cents is hypercompetitive.

Clearly, the Times wants to diversify its monetization and revenue lines. Acquisition is the quickest way to do so, but The New York Times will now have to think about strategically linking the systems or whether to keep Wirecutter as a standalone brand.

It’s not just the Times that is looking to diversify. More publishers are wading into ecommerce and affiliate waters because it’s a lucrative business when done right. I would advise them to do so cautiously.

Publishers can’t add affiliate links and buy buttons to their pages and expect new revenue automatically. Wirecutter serves a very unique purpose and attracts a very specific audience that is looking for specific content. For publishers that have built a following based on general news or entertainment, the same strategies do not apply. Like the Times, it’s important to consider the users’ standpoint, thinking first of their needs and how publishers can service them before weaving in affiliate links and buy buttons in a contextual way.

This sort of monetization belongs on low-funnel content that attracts consumers making buying decisions, rather than general news pages where buy buttons and affiliate links would appear out of context and feel more like an ad than a native, helpful tool.

Before trying to marry content and commerce, publishers must first ensure the ecommerce strategy extends directly from their core content strategy. Publishers must ask themselves where the natural bridges for commerce exist and what products and services actually extend their brand mission overall. They must also have a deep enough understanding of the core demographic profile or interests of their audience to truly provide a valuable service.

Then there’s the consideration of integrity. With all forms of advertising, there must be a separation of church and state with editorial on one side and advertising on another. With affiliate marketing, publishers must also be transparent about how they’re making money so users understand this model. Consumer expectations are evolving and they commonly see affiliate links all over the internet. The key to maintaining trust and integrity is clear communication and sitewide rules for placement and usage of affiliate links.

Read the full article here: https://adexchanger.com/the-sell-sider/publishers-beware-wading-ecommerce-waters/

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