1. Marketers and Graphic designers in Zimbabwe, here’s an idea for you

    The one thing we have noticed running a web publishing platform in Zim is that the advertising industry is not quite conversant with the web as yet. The internet in many ways, works very different from the offline business that they are masters of.

    It’s many things really, but I will note two that I have personally observed.

    The web ‘circulation’ stats are still a bit foreign; pageviews, unique visitors, CTR, CPC, CPI and other such are not appreciated yet as measurements of a publisher’s worth as an advertising platform.

    We find this when we deal with advertisers and advertising agencies. They all ask “So how many hits do you get?” A question that is ofcourse hard to answer, as we don’t tracks hits. We don’t track hits because they’re mostly useless as a measurement of our eyeball traffic and clicks by physical people. 

    Our response usually starts with “Well, over a million hits a month, but trust me, that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean anything to you as an advertiser. Our pageviews a month are….” we then go on to explain what pageviews are, what unique visitors are and where our platform stands.

    Often, these numbers turn a lot of prospectives away. The figures are just not as impressive as the hits they want to hear.

    A few times though, when we’re lucky, the prospective client values our audience, the interaction, and it’s size so they go on to give us some business. 

    And when they do decide to advertise, stage 2 begins;

    "What format do you want the artwork in?". 

    We tell them (or their ad agency): “For that placement, send us a 300x250 pixel graphic in either GIF, SWF, PNG or JPEG. and try to make sure it’s at least less than 50kb in size”

    For some reason that I’m still not able to understand (because I never designed for print), print graphic designers don’t work in pixels. So those dimensions don’t mean much to them. They also don’t do animation so the ads they give you are always static, which just means the advertiser is not getting maximum return from their campaign.

    So what follows is a back and forth with them sending us the artwork and us sending it back with comments. Now, because the back and forth can’t go on forever because we all have other things to do, in the end we settle for some middle ground. An idea of what middle ground this is are the adverts on Techzim today.

    All this points to a serious opportunity for graphic designers and marketers that get the web. Clients out there await your solution.