Expert: Christopher Batty, Gawker Media

#26 of 30


About the Expert

Christopher Batty is the VP of Sales and Marketing for Gawker Media, an online media company considered to be one of the most visible and successful blog-oriented media companies with 13 different weblogs under management, including Gawker, Defamer, Fleshbot, Deadspin, Wonkette , Gizmodo. In addition to his current position at Gawker, his prior experience as a business development manager and media analyst makes it clear to Chitika that he is the perfect person to discuss the state of the blogosphere and advertising within it. We are pleased to bring you his insights in this Q&A interview.

An Interview

Q. Advertisers see the Blogosphere as a swamp land but we see the blogosphere as a fertile ground. What are your thoughts on this?

A. Well, apologies in advance for having it both ways (or, every which way!) but the truth is that the blogosphere runs a very wide gamut — from professional journalistic enterprises that have already developed strong brand equity with readers and advertisers all the way to personal websites with readerships that extend no further than the nexus of its creator’s personal relationships (or fewer). Advertisers have two challenges; first, they need to find vehicles that are appropriate to their task and, second, find an efficient way to transact with them. For brand advertisers (who typically define success by lift in metrics like awareness, message association, brand favorability, purchase intent), finding blogs that have real equity with their readerships is first and foremost. Second, and frankly more challenging, is finding a way to transact with these people. There are challenges to validating audience on small sites given the current market for ad research, finding professional counterparts at these publishers with which to engage and frankly getting enough scale (reach) to make it worth their time, agency transaction costs being what they are.

Q. What does the blogosphere need to do to get the same love from advertisers as the mainstream media sites do ?

A. Small publishers need to create advertising solutions that marketers demand that the larger publishing organizations for a variety of reasons cannot execute or can only execute at significant minimum outlay — so things like — custom ad integration, reader contests, promotions, & custom publishing.

Q. Every blogger craves for some link love from Gizmodo or LifeHacker. Can you walk us through the thought process that goes into linking to other blog articles ?

A. Its not really some drawn out thought process: break a story, dig something up no one else has, and present anything in an extremely entertaining fashion.

Q. There is a thin line between product endorsement and product promotion (as has been the topic of heated debate lately). What are you doing to maintain that balance?

A. We make every effort, from every angle, to make sure that our editors have a free hand to speak their minds without any undue influence from our marketing partners (including PR) and so, at this time, we don’t see any role for product endorsement in our advertising mix.

Q. Any advice for budding Gizmodo-wannabes on blog monetization?

A. Honestly taking on the entire consumer electronics category is a big bite so if I were an independent publisher with a passion for consumer electronics and gadget porn, I’d look for a niche to cover with a deep expertise and relentless focus.