PaperG CEO Wong Says Local Advertising Needs Simple, Understandable Pricing

PaperGVictor Wong is CEO of PaperG, an online advertising provider. PaperG is getting a lot of traction in the online news vertical. Why?

VW: Flyerboard is based on one of the most popular methods of exchanging local news — the community bulletin board. It isn’t surprising to the PaperG team that Flyerboard has been gaining traction around online local news and information given its roots as a way to share what’s going on around town.

How did Flyerboard get its wings? (Pardon the pun.)

Flyerboard took off in college campuses as a way to post digital version of flyers for what was going on around campuses. To that end, we recently signed a partnership with MTV U to launch Flyerboard on many more campuses. We realized that there was no reason Flyerboard couldn’t work for local websites and so we soon added a number of major newspapers to our partnership base. Things have taken off from there.

Other than the geographical aspects of local versus national advertising, what other key differences exist in local advertising?

Local advertising requires a different set of pricing that is understandable by anyone. CPM and CPC pricing obfuscate the value of online ad inventory for many potential local ad buyers. We’ve worked with our publishers to deliver a simple pricing model that is understandable by advertisers but accountable and profitable for the publishers.

Local requires simplicity in all aspects. You’ll see that every part of our offering from the pricing to the features available focuses on elegant simplicity.

Is video advertising a possibility with Flyerboard? What are the complexities?

We presently don’t offer video advertising within Flyerboard. We may offer it in the near future so that if you put up a movie poster ad, you could view a trailer as well — however, most small local advertisers aren’t looking for video advertising options so this hasn’t been included in the current release.

Flyerboard ads appears site specific versus visitor specific. Could Flyerboard target a user who visits an L.A. News site but lives in New York City (Let’s say they like to read about the local nightlife)? If not, does this leave money on the table and any plans to capture this opportunity?

As we grow our network, we continue to look at ways to increase the yield on the inventory we power. At present, we are site-specific but as we scale, we can easily adjust and become visitor specific as you suggest.

How important is creating effective creative in Flyerboard campaigns? Does the ad buyer need to design something, for example?

The beauty of the Flyerboard is that everybody can be an advertiser. Anyone who does local marketing already has a flyer or poster. They can use that creative to generate a nice-looking online Flyer Ad on the Flyerboard. If they don’t have existing print material, then they can use our Flyer Creator program to generate template-based flyers.

It is incredibly easy to put together effective creative for Flyerboard.

Is there any opportunity around leveraging data for PaperG? For example, how about retargeting users?

There could be potential in all the data we have. However, we are focused at this moment on the Flyerboard application itself rather than the peripheral data it generates.

Is there hope for news organizations online? What’s your view?

I know news organizations will not only survive online but thrive. We started with one hyperlocal website called the New Haven Independent which is doing quite well for itself with the Flyerboard and only two people. We now power which is one of the largest local-focused websites out there and have generated significant revenue with them. These example lead me to believe that local news sites will do well online as they continue to invest in the right technologies and expand their audiences.

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