As Brand Advertising Budgets Get Pinched, Publishers Pivot to Cater to Direct Response

Economic downturns hurt all areas of advertising, but not equally. Direct-response budgets tend to hold up far better than brand-building efforts. That’s led publishers to shift their emphasis to getting closer to the transaction.

The Washington Post has launched self-serve ad products targeted at direct response and direct-to-consumer advertisers, a market that continued spending during the pandemic offering door-to-door services with millions of people at home. It’s also running classes to help DTC brands become more mature marketers in topics like how to use audience insights. Sports publisher Barstool lets smaller DTC brands run campaigns on its new editorial products at a lower rate than previously.

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