Melbourne based startup Find Media, aims to use self service and technology to tackle the advertising industry head on, effectively knocking out the need for agencies and allowing businesses to interact directly with publishers. On the surface everything looks promising, it’s a nice straight forward disruptive model [something we like] but what are the challenges that lay ahead for founder Lenny Manor? If there is one thing I have learnt since starting up in the media space it’s that these guys have been doing the same things for years and years and have no intention of changing – therefore change must be forced upon them. There will however be much kicking, screaming and potential sabotage though.
Manor’s startup is now instantly a competitor of all the major Australian agencies, that means [a] those who represent people wanting to advertise and [b] agencies that act as an agent for the publishers – this represents both obstacles and opportunities.
Getting large publications and large businesses to start using the site is going to be hard, they are already set in their ways, their agencies have conditioned them to believe that there is only one way to get cut through online. It has been that way for a while now, nobody has really pioneered anything new that delivers a visible ROI so they will not be keen to change their systems.
Agencies are going to be gatekeeping this venture from speaking to their large clients, it will be difficult to get around them as when trying to set up meetings, the agency is always going to be copied into these discussions. They will view this as cutting their grass.
Small Businesses, of which there are a lot more in Australia are not clients of agencies as their spend represents a number that agencies don’t particularly go after – this creates a huge opportunity to start tackling segments of the various markets and play matchmaker. For instance getting on board independent real estate sites and blogs, then connecting them to real estate agencies.
Independent publishers and new media are always looking for ways to get cut through and increase their ad revenue, creating a community where people are looking to spend and connecting the right target audiences together with the right type of readership is going to make a publisher happy.
The advertising industry is going to be turned on it’s head during 2013 as businesses stop throwing cash into places where the only visible return is the number of impressions they buy and start to focus on the amount of leads provided as a result of their advertising efforts. One of the most important features of what Manor has created with findmedia.com.au is the feedback system where other customers rate their experiences with the seller – as long as publishers are honest about what they can deliver and their numbers, they should maintain high ratings – but if you inflate stats, you will be caught out very quickly and develop a bad reputation resulting in nobody advertising with you.