Marketers view ad inventory on social networks as “experimental,” and these days there’s little enthusiam for trying out new things.
So social network MySpace is shifting strategies and going after the ad dollars that normally go toward portals, CEO Chris DeWolfe told the FT.
“We can get 50 million eyeballs on our homepage so we can compete against the portals. We’re not going to compete against Google and their 20,000 employees. But where we’ve made strides is against guys like MSN and Yahoo on the display and branded business.”
MySpace sales boss Jeff Berman says the site’s moved past “hyper-targeting” and sorts of other whiz-bang social networking ad strategies:
In the last six months, we have really broken out of that. Instead of going up against other social media sites for experimental dollars that might be five- or six-figure advertising campaigns, we’re going up against the portals for seven-figure campaigns.
With Facebook kicking MySpace’s tail in traffic, this is all a very convenient stategy shift. (Though it isn’t much of shift, even. We’ve been hearing this line from MySpace since before last summer.)
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a smart strategy. MySpace mainly needs to earn its keep at News Corp and shouldn’t bother trying to innovate faster than Facebook, which is still going for a big Google-esque home run when it comes to revenues. The FT says MySpace just missed its $1 billion revenue target for 2008.