Why aren’t we in the search business?” Kirk MacDonald asked.

The executive vice president of sales for Digital First Media began INMA World Congress Sunday with the first of 11 “brainsnacks,” seven-minute presentations done rapid fire to show how media companies are growing audience, advertising, and brands across platforms. MacDonald focused on digital advertising in the news industry.  

Referencing a chart, he pointed out that 47% of all digital advertising dollars are spent on search. News organisations have a drastically lower rate. This could be due to multiple reasons, but he said they all come from the same source.

“The combination of fear and ignorance can be paralysing,” MacDonald said.

He pointed out the necessity of real-time trading desks to sell advertising but also offered an example of a business model that could change this.

Ad Taxi is a company that offers a solution to bringing advertising to news organisations. It uses analytics and traffic growth data to create customised bundles for advertisers. The advertisers also participate in building their customised package, because Ad Taxi does not have a set of pre-made standards. 

This personalisation helps advertisers combine the focus on search advertising and the appeal of placing their ads where they know they will be seen, he said: “It really makes sense to take to market something a person wants to buy.”