1. Advertising

The Biggest Red Flag from a Vendor

I receive a lot of pitches from companies and people collectively known as vendors.

Some are publishers, platforms, technology companies, apps, developers, websites, and other self-described genres. They&;re all vendors though because they&39;re all selling something. They are also known as sellers.

I&39;ve seen two major red flags lately, one from a vendor on the rise (I think) and one from one on the decline. Both are hard to take seriously for a similar reason.

The company on the rise talks a lot about its various engagement numbers and the performance of its ads. I believe it. I&39;m impressed.

But the riser won&39;t report on unique user numbers. Even internally, it&39;s on a need-to-know basis. And those who know aren&39;t allowed to tell.

To me, that sounds like it&39;s hiding something. Why else would the company not share that information with advertisers?

The company on the decline recently sent me a presentation. It had some great case studies on its ad formats, and how well it has been received in the press. Yay!

There&39;s one thing missing from the presentation: unique users.&;

There aren&39;t pageviews either. Or many numbers at all.&0160;

Wait, I&39;m wrong. There are numbers. Page numbers.

So I did what any not-entirely-lazy buyer would do. I went on Quantcast. I saw a chart that looked like a rapid downward slope into oblivion.

I couldn&39;t believe I was receiving a pitch from a company with a rapid downward slope into oblivion. So I went on Compete.

Same thing: rapid downward slope into oblivion.&0160;

I wonder why the decliner isn&39;t including numbers in the presentation.&0160;

Wouldn&39;t the decliner do so much better engendering trust if it said, "Look, you know and we know our numbers are pretty weak right now. But… " (Insert excuse here: "We&39;ve stopped the bleeding and now&39;s a chance to join us as we make our comeback" or "All our traffic comes from our mobile app which doesn&39;t show up on Quantcast or Compete" or "We&39;re desperate and we&39;ll give you a kegerator if you just get a brand to do something with us for free.")

Yes, that would do better.

They say you should show, not tell.

How about show, not hide.

Buyers aren&39;t always that bright. Buyers make mistakes and irrational decisions. Buyers often choose going with their relationships rather than going with the best deals.

That&39;s because buyers are human.

You know what else makes buyers human?

Buyers don&39;t like it when others insult their intelligence.

Buyers will always have something else to buy.

Sellers won&39;t always have something else to sell.

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