Guy Burbidge, commercial director for full-service comms agency Inception Digital, says it’s tough out there.
He says: “We knew the market was going to be tough and we knew it would be saturated, but we’ve been very clear about working with the best sites that we could find in audiences, but also having an interesting offer to challenge the marketplace.”
Which is why Inception has added online community, Mouths of Mums, to its client list. Mouths of Mums ended its partnership with Yahoo!7 due to an assessment of growth opportunities for the brand. The new partnership will see Inception manage ad sales for the site along with new and existing commercial partnerships. The online women’s network fits snugly in Inception’s women’s and mum’s verticals which, although agreeing the market is saturated, Burbidge feels they have a strong advantage.
“We work with communities like Mouths of Mums that do things differently, that create conversation with audiences and engage them away from banners, and provide a real service to advertisers,” he says.
Despite admitting display ads still have a place, moving away from banner ads is something Inception wants to push.
“I think they have a place,” says Burbidge, “but I certainly think conversations have moved beyond that in a way that you can engage audiences like never before.
“We’re seeing display-only solutions only working so-well, but we’re seeing content and display solutions working better as a combination. And that’s where I think those types of packages are far more interesting to advertisers because they provide different touch points for audiences to connect with brands.”
Mouths of Mums is a product-review site for mums, and it’s only members that review the bits and bobs. Currently Mouths of Mums has more than 103,00 mums registered.
Founder of the site, Nikki Hills, says that while there’s a heap of competition already, she’s feeling pretty good about their offering.
“It’s certainly a busy marketplace,” she says, “but what we’re finding is mums are quite specific and they certainly have a limited repertoire for the sites they’re loyal to.” It’s not about the competition, she adds, it’s about having an offering advertisers want.
“There’s always competition, the only thing we can control is the quality of the work we do.”
The community aspect of Mouths of Mums is a point of difference in this saturated market, adds Burbidge. “There are bigger portals that represent, arguably, too many things, and almost lost a bit of credibility as no one can understand what they stand for anymore,” he says.