So, for the fifth year in a row, I am about to do all my Christmas shopping in about two hours without leaving my chair. Like many of you, I depend on Web retailers to facilitate this for me and make my dozen nephews and nieces smile that Christmas morning smile.
Also, like many of you, I depend on Search to get this done. Have you ever entered an Internet retail site and not used Search, even once you're within their site? With my recent writing on how Search Marketing is all that, it occurs to me that the recent spike makes little sense, only insofar as Search should have been this big a few years ago. To the critics who say that Web advertising is not memorable, I say, "who cares, when it's actionable!"
But, let's get back to shopping.
Were it not for the Web, where would I have gone to purchase the hand-held GPS I just bought my brother? Those huge electronics stores are nowhere to be found within a reasonable trip, and I refuse to drive more than 30 minutes just to do battle in the aforementioned malls. Anyway, the stores like Best Buy and Circuit City are just as easy to access online, though their product range for unusual items like a GPS can be pretty limited.
Every day, some element of Web media or commerce makes my life and the lives of countless others a whole lot easier while greasing the skids that make our economy hum. But this time of year, it's even more apparent. Is there a single one among you who has not purchased SOMEthing online within the past 2 months? Are we to the point now that we're actually taking this for granted? I think that the only items I have purchased in the past five years that were not at least deeply informed online are dress clothes.
So, me being me... in that male, single, a bit older than the most desirable demographic, but still close... Is it any wonder why there is so much less buying (and watching) going on in male TV? Any advertiser who wanted to reach me in the past month would have done far better buying ESPN.com than they would have buying ESPN. I've referred to convergence in this space as the idiom where commerce meets media, not where telephony meets television.
This convergence will be complete when an advertiser will be able to enjoy an "apples to apples" comparison of their marketing ROI across all media. I know that those of us within the interactive world think that we do this today online. But, there is little that is "apples to apples" yet. This will remain the case until television comes up with some meaningful quantitative analysis.
No, this will not be a column about the Nielsen Television Ratings. Any among us who has participated at home knows that this has been a naked emperor for far too long, and an imprecise one at that.
This is a column about that scene in "Minority Report" when Tom Cruise's character leaves the train station and has billboards call out to him by name, making the marketers in the theaters coo with intrigue. That kind of marketing happens to me every day online, right when I'm looking to buy online.
But, this never happens in a mall or some store - and never on television. I ended up buying that GPS for my brother at a Web retailer called (what else?) The GPS Store. See what I mean about taking Web retailing for granted? I mean, where else would you buy a GPS? Some things only exist online. And while they're not perfect there, they're more perfect there than anywhere else.