When we did direct sales @medianama , we always pitched brand affinity (as a vertical with a unique target audience set), trying to distinguish ourselves from commodity advertising that was/is Google. Unfortunately, math men/women have taken over and their only method of comparison tends to be commodity metrics.
My theory, when we started 11 years ago, was that there's profitability only in two cases: if you play a commodity game and have an audience base comparable with Google, or if you're a vertical with a sharp target audience and can command a premium rate. Middle is death because you're neither here nor there. This was for ad only biz, of course. Brand is now a tough sell in India.
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