Something else that newspapers can’t do . . .

Here’s an idea . . .

In all fairness, I’m not even sure websites can do this yet.  Well, I’m sure they can, but I’m not sure they are doing this yet.

I know our industry isn’t . . . but I think you’ll agree after you read this entry, that we should.

If you’re advertising a show, you may buy banner ads across a news website like or Playbill or even Huffpo.

Your ads are served across the network, in most cases,  or what is called ROS or Run of Site, which means they are served on all pages.  Or, maybe you target just the home page, or a listings page, etc.

But what if you could target just your content pages . . . and what if you could retarget the people that visit those pages?

Follow me.

If a customer visits and happens to see an editorial article on, oh, I don’t know, Godspell, let’s say . . . and clicks on that link to read that article . . . then “duh” wisdom will tell you that the clicker is a qualified lead for Godspell.  Someone reading editorial is more likely to be interested, and therefore more likely to make a purchase.

Well, the great thing about niche industry sites like Playbill and BroadwayWorld is that . . . yep . . . they contain many pages about similiar content. There are a ton of articles about Godspell, Mormon, Wicked, etc.  And someone reading more than two articles is more inclined to purchase than one article.  And someone reading three articles is more inclined to purchase than two articles, and so on, and so on.

Imagine if news sites gave you the following options:

  • Serve ads on pages in which your editorial content appears (that’s easy)
  • Serve ads to people that have visited one editorial article (getting trickier)
  • Serve ads to people that have visited between exactly three articles (advanced)
  • Serve ads to people that have visited editorial articles about shows that are similar to yours (got a family show, target people that have read articles about Mary Poppins.)
  • And on and on and on

Google allows some of the easier bullet points on this list to happen with sites on its content network.  But I’m lobbying for our sites (especially the ones that don’t use the Google Content network) to look at building in their own network that allows us to focus on retargeting those folks who have read all about the shows, but haven’t purchased yet.

What the internet allows us to do is get very, very specific in terms of the people we target.  It allows us to fire missles instead of drop big ol’ expensive bombs.

Less waste and better results.

Maybe we can’t do this yet, but we can apply the theory.  Editorial means interest.  Find the people reading your articles, and you’ll find the people who just might buy your tickets.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.