Al Chen, co-founder of Cooperatize is committed to optimizing the reach of Native Advertising through blogs. He has an extensive background in digital, starting at Google, and when he created his company he decided that he wanted to change the way that advertising is done. The result is Cooperatize.
In this interview, Chen talks about how his firm is able to connect brands to their target audiences via bloggers, how Google+ works, the Google ecosystem including YouTube, the current landscape of branded advertising, global native and how he believes advertising will morph in the future.
The following is an excerpt of a longer interview. Links to the videos can be found on WeislerMedia.blogspot.com.
CW: What is the advantage of Google+?
AC: From a product standpoint, Google+ is just another social network very much like Facebook. The reason why it is important and why people are clamoring for it is that it is like the silver bullet -- it ties together your entire online presence. For example, if you are browsing Google and you log into your Google+ profile, Google will learn about your browsing habits and also what your friends on Google+ like to read. Your rankings will change depending on how your browsing habits are with your friends and it might recommend search results that are important for you. In terms of having a website or blog, Google+ is essential because it allows Google to see all the different things you contribute to. So if you are a major contributor to another blog, and it is associated with that Google+ profile, more weight will be placed on other things that you contribute to around the internet because Google knows that you are a well trusted publisher in the space.
CW: Tell me about Cooperatize.
AC: Cooperatize is a marketplace connecting brands with bloggers. The main ad unit we transact is the sponsored blog post or sponsored story. Our technology connects brands at agencies with the bloggers that are in line with their target audience in their target market and we facilitate the process. We work with over 4000 bloggers in the lifestyle, luxury and travel space.
CW: Can you give me some predictions about how the media landscape will look five years from today?
AC: I think that with any kind of social platform where users are generating content, there are going to be other platforms that will come up [and] we will find ways to sponsor them. What I mean by that is, Cooperatize is a sponsored platform for content on blogs. There are also platforms cropping up for sponsored tweets , sponsored Vine videos, sponsored Instagram posts and obviously sponsored posts on Facebook and Twitter. So whenever new platforms come up, I am guaranteeing you that there will be a way to sponsor them. And not just online but also offline. There will be ways to sponsor logos on coffee cups, on urinals, billboards, maybe even on your home thermostat in your living room, the kitchen. It might be seen as a way that brands are invading your home but as technology progresses it will become easier and easier for brands and companies to get into these spaces.
CW: That sounds like a nightmare scenario to me. At what point do you think consumers will block it out?
AI: I think it will come down to a cultural thing. I don’t think there is a distinct line where people will say that you can’t do this or that it is against their morals. Teens today are more accepting and may see some of the things that we might find annoying as just a part of life living in a world of technology. So I think that as technology changes, the culture is changing as well. My belief is that more and more teens as they grow up [will be] more accepting of these little ways that brands come into their lives.
Interview conducted by Charlene Weisler, Weisler Media LLC. She can be reached through herresearch blog www.WeislerMedia.blogspot.com or at WeislerMedia@yahoo.com. Full disclosure: Charlene hosts a street art blog on The Starry Eye blog community.
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