Most publishers were built on an advertising-driven business model

Most publishers were built on an advertising-driven business model

Most publisher walled gardens are built for promotional purposes, not to provide the high-quality purchase intent data needed to significantly increase sales efficiency. This ad-based business model forced them to seek the widest possible audience within broad categories of general interest. Broad, flat coverage was the best way to maximize ad spend, even for semi-specialized categories (such as “technology”).

There are several large walled gardens in enterprise technology that, while seemingly similar, have vastly different business models, data, and value creation perspectives. IDG (now Foundry), SWZD (Spiceworks ZiffDavis), Informa (acquired UMB), CNET, etc. are all examples of traditional advertising-driven business models. As a result, you will not have an accurate picture of the impact on your actual revenue. TechTarget, by contrast, was built specifically for the Internet age and the highly granular decision support needs of enterprise technology buyers and sellers. Evidence of the underlying differences between the models can be seen in their respective organic search rankings on Google.

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TechTarget’s micro-segmentation approach significantly increases total organic traffic (roughly doubling over the last two years) and provides more granular segmentation capabilities. For advertisers, this is good for targeted, contextual advertising (as opposed to programmatic spray-and-play). Even better for intent data accuracy, lead conversion rates, opportunity identification, and many other sales and related go-to-market needs. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Extensive and flat cannot derive accurate intent data

If you build a publishing model that attracts a very wide audience, such as ComputerWorld or InformationWeek, the whole concept is a news-focused media property that gives people a comprehensive picture of “what’s going on there.” is to build This is a model that helps you sell a lot of ads in bulk. This is efficient, but disappointing for more specialized advertisers with smaller professional goals and budgets. It may “work”. But despite the low cost of programmatic advertising, smaller brands need more granularity to hope to make an impact in their laser-focused niche. You need to reach people who are genuinely interested in your innovative differentiators, not everyone who has a passing interest in giant categories like “security” or “cloud.”

Unfortunately, for a broader range of legacy publishers, the ad-centric business model prevents them from

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moving to a more insightful approach. Here’s why:
Because the entire business model revolved around advertising, it wasn’t really designed to produce the granularity needed to provide accurate intent data. This business model is built on an infrastructure designed for generality and scale rather than hyper-segmented granularity and detail. Editorial content and reporting skills are not designed to meet the very specific needs of technical decision makers (input required for large enterprise technology purchases). At best, these types of publishers are only able to broadly track general increases in account behavior – they can only see trends in general interest. This means that we can only provide high-level data from the traffic we receive, and glean insights so vague that they make no sense outside of high-level advertising. In contrast, TechTarget’s approach was designed with granularity in mind from the beginning, making the model not only highly efficient for advertising, but also extremely powerful for sales. It has granularity around a single prospect’s needs and more, allowing sellers to personalize their outreach.

How should this be incorporated into our overall understanding of the intent dataspace?

Some argue that almost all legitimate sources of B2B targeting data are an improvement over basic programmatic ad targeting (after all, this is the ad tech category, with nearly $65 billion in fraud annually. activities and account for more than 50% of total expenditure). Such legacy-model tech publishers can even improve upon broader B2B outlets such as Forbes,, etc., if they want their digital advertising to be a little more targeted. The tent market is filled with self-proclaimed “intent data” providers (outlets that get data in all manner of ways). For legacy publishers), few can really help you make real progress toward your most pressing business goals.

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