Unearthing an industry-wide issue

The last two weeks of daily customer interviews have been insightful, to say the least. Collecting qualitative data from numerous businesses, brands, and digital publishers. What I found surprised me.

I thought I would get pushback from publishers. Instead, I unearthed what looks to be a massive systemic issue with the entire digital advertising model.

A few years ago CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) could get up to $40 (NZD), so I’m told. In today’s market CPM value is an average of $4. That’s a massive drop in value. Due to a number of factors, including; more publishers, and more ad buying outlets, like Facebook, Adroll, etc

The digital-only publishers I have spoken to are hurting badly. The cost of resource to create content is unjustified due to the low value of impressions. Money is made through more significant campaigns which include social promotion. But the time and effort to sell in such campaigns is, for most, not worth it.

These are just some of the deep insights I’m collecting from these customer interviews. I’m hearing the same things from many. I can now see the characteristics which define these ‘hurting’ digital publishers. I can now see the exact value proposition.

After extracting the insights I needed, I reveal my concept. You know you’re hitting the mark when the customer gets excited and is ready to sign up immediately. “When can we have this?”, “We would definitely use this.” These are comments I wanted to hear.

Problem not product
Before a single line of code is written, I must learn everything there is to know about the problems I’m trying to fix. From every angle.
To create a product that the market needs, it must be the market that dictates the initial product functionality. That only comes from listening. I’m noting down all their thoughts and ideas, their wants and needs, and also how they talk about the issue. This feedback will form the basis or the MVP along with the early adopter marketing strategy.

It’s been super helpful listening to brands as well as publishers. Customer discovery at it’s best. More interviews to do.

I can’t wait to see where this takes me.