When Glam Media purchased social networking platform Ning seven months ago, the media company also acquired the talents of Jason Rosenthal, who has transitioned from CEO of his former firm into the role of EVP of products. Since then, Rosenthal’s been busy making Glam’s ad offerings more social.
“You’ll see a number of product announcements in the coming months that leverage Ning’s social technology and Glam’s ad technology that neither of [the companies] would have been able to deliver before combining forces,” he said.
Eight-year-old Glam Media entails gender- and lifestyle-focused properties like Glam.com (women), Brash.com (men), and Bliss.com (healthy living). In March, according to comScore, Glam’s network of sites drew 224 million unique visitors.
ClickZ recently emailed Rosenthal questions about mobile ad sales, new properties, and other developments at Glam. Here are highlights from the Q&A:
ClickZ: Glam rolled out mobile ad units in August 2011. How’s that going?
Jason Rosenthal: Mobile is one of Glam’s strongest launches and has become the fastest growing line of business in the company today.
CZ: Are those ads sold separately?
JR: We offer mobile as part of an integrated digital campaign across all platforms rather than treating it as a separate pillar. We hear time and again from brands that they want to reach their consumers wherever they may be and on whatever device they happen to be using at that point in time. This spring, we ran campaigns for a major luxury car brand that stands as a great example of the innovation in mobile.
CZ: Erin Matts from AB InBev recently joined your team. Can you speak to how she’s contributed to Glam’s marketing or advertising focus?
JR: She is the voice of all brands globally inside the company… For example, Erin is organizing an Agency Advisory Council, comprised of the brightest and most influential agency leaders in the U.S., partnering together to shape unique solutions and provide marketplace insights. She is also leading Glam’s initiatives in social analytics, answering the industry questions of what is the value of social, and what is the value of content.
CZ: Glam entails a number of specifically focused content sites and recently launched two new vertical properties – Foodie.com and parenting guide Tend.com. Outside of block audience targeting, why should brands sponsor these verticals? We’ve all heard the pitches. What can you tell us on this front that we haven’t heard before?
JR: How [about] to bring the “magic” of great print and TV to digital? Glam found early that all the details matter. Starting with the right audience first, focusing on the category they are seeking, finding the highest quality authors, and clustering them around verticals. This model works for vertical cable TV operators, and we have found that works very well for digital.