As I have previously mentioned on this blog, at Topix we for the most part outsource our ad sales to Google. The ads perform very well, we can put engineering time and effort into optimizing them and there is zero cost of sale. OK that last part isn't entirely true - there is an unknown cost of sale in the fact that Google keeps part of the revenue - but for that price, they do all the legwork around aggregating the advertisers, serving the ads, tracking them, making payments, etc. In other words, it's a pretty good deal.
With that, I don't think it is a complete solution. At the end of the day, like any media company, our pages are designed for marketers to reach the audience that comes to them. Google is certainly one vehicle for that. But it is not the only vehicle. I think at Topix it is high time we started actually connecting directly with marketers to work with them to design solutions that maximize the reach and breadth of our pages and meet their specific needs.
This is not to say that we will drop Google. That would be dumb. But, we are looking to supplement our existing monetization with some homegrown sales efforts. So, with that, if you are a rock star sales person, familiar with the agency world, looking to join a start-up environment, drop us a note at email@example.com. We have lots of traffic (10mm uniques/month and growing) and a great ability to segment that traffic (to locality and/ or demographic). It's a pretty senior position, so a great chance to build a program from almost scratch.