Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Million Dollar Home Page: A Marketing Artifact

by Jack Yoest

A portion of The Million Dollar Homepage

In 2005 Your Business Professor bought advertising space on a website.  I paid Alex Tew a hundred bucks.

 I got no clients.

 But all was not lost.

 Alex Tew got a million dollars. Seems about right.

Somebody was making money on content on the web.  It wasn't me.

Charmaine, my better half, was an early blogger and is now a CEO of a multimillion dollar law firm who has run marketing departments.  She knows business and so counseled me.  Here is an early blog post,

Microscopic Marketing and Marriage, an Update

 The Ad:


This is an update on The Million Dollar Home Page. I was a skeptic. I succumbed. I'm a sucker. (For a Purple Cow.)

 So last week I tell Charmaine, "I just bought ad space on The Million Dollar Home Page."

 "Great!" she says. "We need to do some ad copy."

"...well, dear..."

 "About time you advertised your blog." She gets out a pen, "What's the buy? Who's the reader? What's the..."


 "Yea, how big?" She asks, eyes a-glow.

 "Small. But we make it up on Frequency! on Reach! on Awareness...!"

 Charmaine stops smiling. "How small?"

"100 pixels. We're helping a young man get through college..."

 Charmaine's eyes go dead. That look. Blank.

 I'm in trouble, "Only 100 bucks. Buck a pixel, get it?! ha ha ha!"

 Her look drifts into a 1,000 yard stare, common on combat veterans. Married veterans.

"What does 100 pixels look like?" she whispers.

 "10 by 10 pixs." I do the math for her. It was not helpful.

 "Show me." She murmurs.

I'm glad she's talking. "Here," I said. "It's....compact..." (Scroll down...)


She's mentions the $45K for my MBA. "We'll have to consider the ROI, won't we?" I don't know if she's talking business school or ad buys. Or marriage. Hard to tell the difference.

 I don't wait too many days for the answer.

This morning, Charmaine asked how my advertising program was going.

 I mumble, "Three."

 "That's 33 bucks a hit, huh?" She does the math this time. "A bit high, would you say?"

"John Wanamaker said that half of his marketing budget was wasted..." I launch into consulting mode.

"You did the wasted half." She's very good with a knife. Cutting to the truth. I end the conversation. Like a man.

 "Yes, dear."

 Alex, the creator of the page reached $843,600 toward his goal of $1,000,000. There still some space left for you to buy. But don't tell your wife.

Early this year Philip Bump wrote in the Washington Post,

Million Dollar Homepage, the 2005 Internet snapshot that’s stuck in time,

There’s a charm to spotting a faded advertisement painted high on a brick wall in a city. It’s a time capsule of enticement that — particularly when it’s advertising some defunct product — inspires you to stop in your tracks and think about the link between that moment and your own. 
The Internet has its own version of that — with a couple of key differences. An ad for the sake of advertising, it made its creator a million dollars in a few short months. And unlike a faded ad for Stewart’s Spot Remover, it’s as bold and garish as it was the day it launched. It is the Million Dollar Homepage.
It is charming now.  And a learning event.  I captured my experience as it unfolded. We called it "live blogging" back them...

Continue reading the article here.

And be sure to follow Your Business Professor on Twitter @JackYoest.

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