So it’s been a few months since I’ve updated you on how things have been going with the magazine publishers. I ended up meeting with Stuff Magazine the first week in August. They thought it was a great idea (to provide pay-per-sale advertising technology to their advertisers) but didn’t really see any interest from the higher-ups in the organization. They encouraged us to spend some ($90k) money on advertising with them and then they would consider a partnership. We decided to pass on this one for now but I’ll make sure to follow-up with a few of the higher-ups in the coming months to see if there is further interest once we’ve built some technology to show them.

I’ve also followed up on the 200+ emails I’ve sent out to the advertising execs at dozens of magazines. Needless to say, most still haven’t bothered to respond, although I have received about a dozen bites from publishers ranging from Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time Inc. The problem now is that my email needs to travel from Ad Sales to the right person in marketing. Many times, these two groups don’t talk, and as I’m finding out, don’t really have any reason to help one another. The sales people who responded to my emails so far understood my predicament and were willing to put themselves out and help me network to the right people in the organization. I realized through this process that I needed to contact people in marketing or circulation, not ad sales. The salespeople were busy selling ads, which I wasn’t buying. The problem was that I didn’t have any way of contacting the marketing people directly. I’m just going to have to rely on this internal referral process and cross my fingers. I’ll let you know if I get any interest…

JT

About two months ago, Seth and I were talking about how we might find some help doing market research in the retail industry for our advertising service. We have this great idea for an ad-serving technology and want to make sure it has some receptiveness in the market by some of our target consumers. We decided to shoot an email to our Cornell network to see if anybody knows of a class in the MBA program (Johnson School of Management) that might be willing to help us (a start-up) do some work. I received an email back about a month ago from one of the professors in the MBA program that runs a consulting class for students who want to work with companies of varying sizes. She asked me to submit a form with a brief description of our business and the proposed project. I submitted the form about two weeks ago and received an email this week saying that two MBAs have chosen our company to work with and perform some market research to support out hypothesis that retailers are going to be interested in our advertising service. We are going to start working with them this week. We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with some very smart MBA students and validate some of our preliminary assumptions about our service we are hoping to build. We’ll keep you posted…

JT