Launching the Ad Platform
Exciting times are just ahead for all of us here at tagvillage. On Monday, December 17, 2012, we fully intend to launch the basic, core package of our Advertising Platform. While this long-awaited event signals the end of a tiresome pre-launch development journey, it also signals the beginning of a much longer and more difficult one. Once the core platform is live, we will immediately shift into simultaneous stages of support, product enhancement, platform growth, and marketing. Of utmost importance is that our members maintain the proper expectations.
If all goes according to plan, as of December 17, advertisers will have full capability to build ads, find relevant positions using Tags, and bid on these positions. Publishers will have the capability to embed our ad widget code into their webpages, approve or decline ads bidding for their positions, and display winning advertisements. The basic, core components of an advertising distribution system will be in place and functional. Yet, we expect the initial usage to be low, with a relatively small number of publishers and advertisers participating.
We want to stress heavily, this will be a very basic core system. Initially, advertisers will only be able to build text ads. We will implement image and rich media advertising at a later stage. Initially, advertisers will bid on individual positions using individual Tags. We will implement the ability to bid on multiple positions & Tags (run of network) at a later stage. Initially, we will only track and report pageviews and click-throughs. Later we will implement unique user counts, enhanced demographics, and other statistics.
There are several major advertising networks already in existence. Many of them have been building and developing their products greater than ten years. In some cases, we are more than 18 years behind. There are ad construction and delivery technologies, statistical tracking mechanisms, databases, anti-fraud and security measures, and many other advancements that are simply beyond our current financial or technical resources. Like our competitors, it will take time and money to develop and implement certain levels of technology in our systems. Our goal is to build and deliver the absolute best product we possibly can, with the resources at our current disposal.
Due to our relatively infant stage realities, and due to our current financial and staffing constraints, our plan is to develop, release, and enhance our advertising product slowly and steadily over a long period of time. We truly hope that publishers, advertisers, and TagTraders will see and appreciate the direction we are moving and will bear with us as we build the technology and tools to get us all to the final vision.
We are at a point in our product development cycle where we feel the basic components are complete enough to release to a live platform. However, we do not feel they are complete enough to fully satisfy their obligations. Therefore, we have decided to roll our product out in 3 primary stages:
- Alpha Launch (pre-beta live testing)
- Beta Launch (beta stage live testing)
- Continuous Enhancement (fully-functional but undergoing continuous improvement)
ALPHA LAUNCH STAGE
On Monday, December 17, 2012, our plan is to enter our Alpha Launch Stage. We plan to release the core components of our Advertising Platform during this stage for testing and debugging. During this stage, publishers will be able to embed our ad widget code into their sites so that advertisements may display within the widgets. Advertisers will be able to search for relevant positions using Tags and bid on these positions. We will display the ads of winning bidders.
It is very important to note, this Alpha Launch Stage will be a testing and debugging stage. Therefore, we will NOT pay publisher or TagTrader commissions during this stage. Also, we will NOT charge advertisers for their winning bids during this stage. This stage is purely for testing and debugging in a live environment and will not conduct actual cash transactions. We expect this stage to last until February 1, 2013.
Essentially we are saying that advertisers can get FREE ADVERTISING throughout the tagvillage publisher network until February 1, 2013. We plan to use this alpha stage opportunity to attract as many advertisers to our platform as possible. They can test our systems and learn to reach their target audience with no cash risk on their part.
However, we know this creates an important question. What about publishers? How do we expect to get publishers to participate? We understand the reason web publishers embed advertising widgets into their pages is to monetize their sites. Therefore, we have a plan to compensate them for helping us with this alpha test. For every day a publisher has our widget code live on their pages during the alpha stage, we will award them double commissions for the same number of days once we enter the Beta Launch Stage. We feel this is a very attractive offer. Publishers can help us attract TONS of advertisers with FREE ADVERTISING during the alpha stage and then earn DOUBLE COMMISSION for a certain time when we start paying them.
BETA LAUNCH STAGE
Our goal is to enter our Beta Launch Stage on February 1, 2013, but this date could change depending on alpha stage results. During the beta stage, we will continue to debug and enhance our platform. We intend to add deeper reporting features, better tracking mechanisms, and to enhance anti-cheating and anti-fraud systems. We also intend to begin delivering TagTrader commissions and publisher commissions during this stage. This means TagTraders and publishers will be earning revenue from ads delivered throughout our network. However, we will still NOT be charging advertisers for their bids!
Yes, you read that correct. We plan to pay publishers and TagTraders the commissions they would have earned, had advertisers actually paid for their bids. However, we intend to still allow advertisers to run ads COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE during our Beta Launch Stage. This means more FREE ADVERTISING. We truly hope this will continue to help us attract more and more advertisers to the system.
During the Beta Launch Stage publishers will earn DOUBLE COMMISSION for the number of days during which they participated in the Alpha Launch Stage. So, if a publisher participates in our alpha testing for 30 days, they will receive DOUBLE COMMISSION for 30 days during the beta testing stage. TagTraders will earn normal advertising commissions on their Tags from the beginning of the Beta Launch onward. We plan for the Beta Launch Stage to last until March 1, 2013, but this date could change depending on results.
It is important to note there will NOT be a monthly withdrawal limit for publisher earnings. Withdrawal limits are only designed for the TagTrader platform. Therefore, publishers will be able to withdraw their entire earnings from the get-go. As advertising revenues increase and TagTrading activity increases, we will remove the monthly withdrawal limits for TagTraders as well. Our goal is to transition to a fully-open earnings and withdrawals environment for all members.
CONTINUOUS ENHANCEMENT STAGE
After the Beta Launch Stage is complete, we intend to enter a long-term period of continuous product enhancement and support. During this time we will roll out an ever increasing array of upgrades to our technology, database, reporting, tracking, ad creation and delivery, and many other aspects of our platform. We plan for this to be a never-ending process. As we receive feedback from publishers, advertisers, and other industry professionals we will make modifications to deliver a better product. As we review data and usage statistics, we will make enhancements to our systems.
During the Continuous Enhancement Stage advertisers will be paying for their advertisements throughout our network, publishers and TagTraders will be earning advertising commissions, and causes will be receiving donations equal to at least 10% of the revenue generated by our advertising platform. The entire system will be functioning as one cohesive organism. This is the point where tagvillage will be a complete, production stage company. At this stage we will also have full-scale marketing and sales efforts alongside our development and support. We expect to be in this stage of operations for more than 10 years.
A UNIQUE PLATFORM
At this point, we feel it is important to explain some important details about our upcoming Advertising Platform. We have been stating for some time that tagvillage will NOT be a Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Action (CPA), or Cost per Thousand (CPM) network. However, we haven’t told you our secret. It is now time to reveal the type of network we are developing.
Our opinion is the future of online and mobile advertising lies in ‘Branding’. We do not feel impulse response (CPC) or other antiquated search-based models will continue to deliver viable advertising opportunities for the long-term future. In 2013, online display advertising will generate more revenue than search-based advertising for the first time in history. Why? Because, display advertising is currently the ONLY method to achieve ‘Branding’ online.
In the simplest form, brand advertising is the art of delivering the exact same message to the exact same intended audience over a long period of time. This is possible through some online display advertising channels. However, avenues for branding are quite limited. Some of the best brand advertising opportunities available in today’s market are high volume pages, such as the Yahoo homepage or the Facebook exit page. The trouble is, only a select few businesses can afford these placements. Online brand advertising is simply not viable for average, local or regional businesses. That is, until now.
We believe there are millions of websites in existence that have consistent traffic that is made up of a similar group of people. There are millions of hobby sites, information sites, and other niche websites that attract and retain visitors due to a specific topic or activity. Many of these sites struggle to generate meaningful ad sales revenue because they must either manually sell and deliver ads themselves, or rely on automated search-based systems that produce less than desired results. There simply is not a dependable framework to fairly ‘automate’ a brand advertising (or display) system for small and mid-size websites.
One of the key components to brand advertising is consistency. In order to effectively build a brand, businesses must deliver the exact same message to the exact same audience over a long period of time. This is impossible with search based ad networks. Why? Because, when you place an ad in a search based network, it is delivered randomly throughout many locations based upon keyword matching and traffic demand algorithms. In other words, your ad is randomly distributed in too many places. Search based networks simply cannot ensure the same sets of eyes are seeing your ad every day.
Although many websites have a similar audience demographic, and therefore the ability to deliver a reasonable ‘branding’ opportunity for advertisers, they face many hurdles. To sell and deliver their own advertising content requires them to employ ad sales representatives and build advertising content management systems. They must seek out their advertisers and conduct a high level of manual ‘labor’ to deliver these ads. For the most part, the revenue is not worth the effort.
We have designed a better networking solution for publishers and advertisers. While search-based advertising systems cannot effectively deliver branding opportunities, they do one thing very well. Because they are keyword oriented, they match advertisers with publishers effectively. We realized this key advantage and borrowed from it when designing our system. Through Tags, we will allow advertisers to discover branding opportunities and publishers to discover potential advertisers. In this manner both advertisers and publishers can find each other. We can fairly ‘automate’ the matchmaking process.
However, matchmaking is only part of the process when it comes to brand advertising. The next component is for the advertiser to have the ability to deliver the same message to the same intended audience for a long period of time. So how is this possible with tagvillage? Simple, we will deliver ads based upon a Cost per Time (CPT) basis.
With the tagvillage Advertising Platform, advertisers can find publishers who have sites that attract their intended audience. They can then bid for the opportunity to place their ads in front of this audience for a certain amount of TIME. They are not randomly shot-gunned to millions of different sites and audiences. They are not buying a limited number of impressions and hoping the right audience happens to see their ad. Instead, they are establishing a time-based position in the middle of content that is attracting their intended audience. They can accomplish true branding.
When we first launch our platform, advertisers will bid on positions in 24 hour increments. All ads will be delivered for a minimum of 24 hours at a time per position. Later we will implement more advanced time management and time predictive systems. Our goal is to make online advertising begin to act like traditional television and radio advertising and other standard media platforms. We intend to develop the system that allows publishers to choose exactly WHEN and WHERE to place their ad, so the right audience receives their message consistently.
The Internet is a mature media. Millions of websites exist with established content and viewers. These sites deserve the opportunity to deliver ads based upon their true value: their audience. Many advertisers place ads in certain issues of magazines because they know the exact intended audience will read the issue. Many advertisers place ads in certain time-slots on certain television or radio programs because they know the exact intended audience will view or hear the program.
Why don’t websites capitalize on this fact? Because, for over ten years, the only automated approach to delivering advertising effectively online was search-based keyword and content matching. Today, we have the technology and data to know who is where online, and WHEN. We have the technology to allow advertisers to choose when and where to place an ad so they reach the exact intended WHO. This is the future of online and mobile advertising.
Our core product will be live in just a few days. Everyone will be able to see that tagvillage is legitimately building an online advertising system. This is an extremely well planned, well organized platform. We have constructed millions of lines of code, volumes of data, exhaustive security and anti-cheating measures, and many other technologies. It is now time to transition from product development to product delivery and marketing. Hold on tight! This should be a fun, but sometimes bumpy ride.