I got the chance to exchange e-mails with Benito Vergara, founder and managing director of Mad Crowd Media (MCM) where my Reflective Thinking blog is a member.
MCM offers a service to potential advertisers who would like to reach out to various bloggers. This is ideal for companies who do not have time to research and negotiate with bloggers one by one.
Benito said that the idea for MCM started when he and his partners realized that they had friends and bloggers who consistently and frequently produced quality content, yet had very little access to local advertising and marketing pesos. On the other side, they also have friends and colleagues in the advertising industry who were interested in working with these bloggers. "But advertisers found the going a bit hard due to elastic prices, unverified content, metrics, and the hard work and creativity needed to convince clients to go online. With MCM, we thought we could push some pieces forward for our friends."
Today, MCM has nearly 100 publications signed up and each one is in play. "There is a unique demand for each one, and we're either in a conversation with someone about it, or working to find where the opportunities for these publications are hidden."
When asked on what is the typical fee range of bloggers in MCM, Benito explains that there is nothing fixed. "This very variety can help drive our services up the value chain. By managing these choices, we can deliver highly-targeted campaigns at almost any range."
Are companies ready to advertise in blogs?
Benito observes that there is interest these days for companies to explore the channel. "While marketers are getting more sophisticated, and the profit-motives are more defined, the dipstick will tell you that the first adopters are very happy with results and only time will tell when others will come around. The key here is unlocking each advertiser's set of opportunities in permission and influencer marketing (and not merely awareness), and understanding how this develops into value that other channels cannot deliver, or do not deliver as elegantly and efficiently as the web can."
Sample of a blog campaign
To give newbie advertises a feel on how this works, Benito shared this favorite where MCM has Anton Diaz, Paul Santos and Carlos Celdran -- three gentlemen who confess to having "let themselves go" -- going back to the gym and getting professional training and supplements, all to see who will be the most fit at the end. "I think you will find proof that bloggers, unlike their newspaper counterparts who are often encumbered by word and editorial limits, have the power to paint experiences in a way that rivals the visual efficacy of the Discovery Channel, the intellect of a Manuel Quezon III editorial, and the entertainment value of the Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show."
Potential of blog advertising
Identifying potential is tricky. Benito admits not knowing the market well enough yet to cast a good enough gaze. "I believe there is potential in hyper-segmenting the market, so the blogosphere population explosion is very welcome. I do know that I've seen how bloggers, working together, can up the value of their work a hundred-fold. There has to be infinite potential in that."