Publishers must learn to sell their content expertise

Forrester predicts that 2018 will be the year that the display advertising bubble bursts, and that brands will significantly reduce their ad spend. In a recent report sharing 2018 forecasts, Forrester writes, “CMOs can’t defend underperforming media spend focused on customer acquisition as churn rates escalate or stand idly by as digital platforms threaten to disintermediate their relationship with customers.” This could spell a tough year for publishers, many of which rely heavily on display advertising to keep their businesses afloat.

But the drop in ad spending is only one side of a much larger trend, writes Rachel Haberman in a recent post on Skyword. The other side, which Forrester mentions briefly in its report, is that brands are increasing their spend on technologies that help them provide more personalised experiences throughout the customer lifecycle, from awareness to acquisition and retention. Positive customer experience (CX) — the sum of interactions between a brand and customer — is critical to growing sales and relies on valuable, targeted content to continually engage the consumer, writes Haberman.

This should sound familiar to publishers, who have mastered building relationships with consumers, regardless of channel, through relevant content. Now it is time for publishers to market this expertise to brands and help them build consumer relationships. That is a much more valuable business to be in than selling commoditised ad impressions.

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