Journalism, PR and advertising: As the lines between the three practices continue to blur, the point at which they meet is the talk of the communications industry. We’ve covered the issue on blogs, intellectualized it and discussed it in LinkedIn forums. But what if we had a tool to bring the three together seamlessly?
Today, a startup called OneSpot launched a new platform designed to simplify the equation by turning branded content pieces into banner ads, thereby giving PR and marketing professionals more power to distribute and monetize their own content.
Founder and CEO Matt Cohen has worked in tech and venture capital roles, but he first grew interested in advertising while working at The Houston Chronicle and noticing that readers consistently called back-page ads one of their favorite parts of the paper–because these sections provided useful information on local sales and events. This experience helped form his promotional philosophy: “What we think of as advertising is generally quite commercial, but it’s still content. And it doesn’t have to be annoying. I’ve always felt that advertising could and should be better.”
Here’s a relevant statistic: Despite the fact the we all see banner ads everywhere online, 86% of web users haven’t clicked on one over the past year. Impressions are valuable, but you really need the clicks. Cohen recognized the root of the problem: “I never see a banner ad that I’m interested in.” Starting at that point, he made it his goal to improve the ad experience for both the user and the advertiser. Here’s an example of his company’s end product:
Cohen explains the purpose of the new platform: