For one of the network’s most prominent public faces, the sale was a bittersweet sigh of relief.
Based on the revenue numbers reported by the company in a press release issued prior to the auction, it is easy to see why the purchase price was perceived as such a good buy; the network’s combined 2007 revenues were reported to be more than $1.3 million, and average monthly profits a healthy $80,800.
Speaking to XBIZ this week, long-time COO of the SickSiteNetwork Marc Womack conceded that the company was “certainly hoping for higher,” and had anticipated that more people would be bidding on the network of sites, but he stopped short of terming the sale price a disappointment.
“We set the reserve price at what we needed to get in order to move forward,” Womack said.
In addition to the capital, what Womack needed in order to move forward was to free himself of having to run both the SickSiteNetwork and MadisonAvenue.com projects at the same time.
Moving from running the SickSiteNetwork to operating MadisonAvenue.com is “big shift,” Womack said, “but it’s a shift that I’m excited about making.”
“My heart just was not in the SickSiteNetwork anymore,” Womack said. “I’m all about MadisonAvenue now. I’ve just grown up a bit, I guess. It’s like I said in my post on GFY the other day — I’m more interested in running MadisonAvenue than I am in posting pics of passed-out frat guys with magic marker drawings on their foreheads.”
In pursuit of developing MadisonAvenue.com, Womack said the company had just finished preparing the back-end infrastructure of the site to support the advertising network’s anticipated growth.
“With the help of National Net, we just moved to a whole new cluster,” Womack said. “It’s perfect preparation for what I’ll be doing in the next 6 to 8 weeks — a push to add a ton of new publishers to the network.”
Another high priority development in the works for MadisonAvenue is to enable a fully online ordering system for traffic purchasers — a tool that Womack said was key to being able to work with smaller-scale ad buys.
“Automating some things and putting more control of the ad campaign in the customers’ hands will make it easier to monetize smaller customers,” Womack said, adding that at the moment campaign management is done almost entirely by MadisonAvenue personnel, which is only cost-effective for larger ad campaigns.