Look out – the gift guides are coming

A wiser man than me once said that newspaper ‘special supplements’ are drive purely by a sales need, rather than a reader want. The intent is to attract advertisers you can’t generally get across the line with your core product.

Result – advertisers pay for space in something that hardly anyone reads. Great.

Online isn’t immune from these either – and you will notice in the next few weeks a plethora of “Christmas Gift Guides”

Do we really need these – not really, considering it is easy to research and browse virtually EVERY product online.

But we get them anyway … driven by publishers with a need to squeeze out a little more revenue out of the last quarter of the year.

Before I go on, I have to admit when I was publisher side I sold these. So did Liam. Still, my feeling then, as it is now, is that they’re not really made to benefit the user.

And there’s generally zero promotion of these outside of the publishers network – SEM, SEO, ATL – nope. Just run of site inventory with a sponsors logo which is effectively paid for by the advertiser. So the advertiser
– pays for the production
– pays for the content
– pays for the ads on the content
– pays for the supporting media

Repeat this across the year for the likes of Horse Racing, ARIA Awards, AFI Awards, Logie Awards, Grammys, Oscars, AFL finals, Brownlow, Dally M Medal, Nth Ryde Rugby Club Best and Fairest, Australian Idol and you’ve got a nice little income stream.

Question is – who reads them and what is the quality of the traffic?

Great deal …


One response to “Look out – the gift guides are coming

  1. Liam writes: Well Ben I think the Christams guide is a great idea for the consumer.

    Mostly these guides are driven by the content teams not the sales teams who generally moan about how no advertiser wants it.

    But I agree with you on the quality. Nearly always hopeless and irrelevant. Thats because the planning is awful and they don’t partner with third parties like getprice etc do deliver something of value.

    And then there is the sudden and urgent need to build it in flash and make it like a brochure????

    I am a big supporter of Christmas guides, I just want to see a good one……

    Also I feel some sympathy for the publishers as the local major retailers think ‘online’ is free email and spotty kids playing games with their mates.

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