Many people, myself included, have outlined the astounding discrepancy in standards applied to traditional advertising spend versus online advertising spend. But rather than trying to get new-media outlets held to the same standards as traditional media outlets, as an industry we should instead be focusing on reevaluating attempts to tap the unique attributes of new media to deliver metrics that can actually measure the effectiveness of brand advertising. The problem with many attempts to date is that most online branding metrics have been mere adaptations of performance metrics (I am looking at you, "engagement"). New media can do better.
We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Just what the hell is going on? It seems as if all the 800-pound gorillas out there are gobbling up the small guys and for boatloads of money -- yes money, not stock. AOL just announced its acquisition of Tacoda for $275 million after recently acquiring Third Screen Media, Lightningcast and AdTech AG. Google announced its intention to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. Am I the only one left scratching my head? Haven't we all been using ad serving, contextual targeting, and behavioral targeting for years now?
I declare the "user" dead! Except there's one slight problem: I can't really tell you what a user is. The first thing that comes to mind is a person who abuses drugs, or perhaps one who engages in recreational usage of them. Or perhaps a selfish person who takes advantages of others. And that's exactly why I think the world's infatuation with the word must end in the vernacular of technology, marketing, media and the Web.
I dont think that print or video or audio media is going to go away. Quite the contrary, I think that consumers are going to want more of it. However, the production methods and business models employed by most mass-media companies today seem too much like open-hearth blast furnaces and one-size-fits-all steel ingots that collapsed in the 1970s. To stay profitable, a media company must also stay relevant and efficient.
The music industry is in a rather dire situation. That's due to the ongoing decrease in CD sales and the continual movement toward digital, which makes it more difficult for the labels to make the margins they were so used to in the past. That being said, there is one artist who continually finds new and interesting ways to get his albums into the marketplace. That artist is currently and once again for the foreseeable future, named Prince.
The ad industry needs to take stock of the massive potential shockwaves digital and social media will have on market shares and bottom lines. We should also consider the implications of how media and advertising shifts will affect the ability of our future leaders' to move us to take positions on important issues. More importantly, to take actions that will affect change -- such as who those leaders are!
Well, we sure have had a year filled with false scares, mainly in the street/viral marketing sense. The hoopla caused by Cartoon Network in Boston earlier this year made online marketers raised an eyebrow. It begs the question: "How can we create and implement out-of-the-box viral advertising if we can't touch the streets?"
Can marketers "buy" buzz? Yes, sort of! A just-released study found that marketing strategies that separate advertising and paid media from pure word-of-mouth tactics can be severely misguided. In fact, high blog interest, or buzz, around new product launches is very tightly linked to paid media spending.
Seems like no one can run an online ad campaign without someone asking what the click-rate was. It doesn't matter if the objective of the campaign was to increase brand awareness or purchase intent, or to sell stuff online, everyone always wants to talk about the campaign click-rate first and foremost. But this metric may be less important than you think.
Sometimes you have to watch the movies in order to understand your very own world just a little bit better. In this case, the movies are a crash course in developing our understanding of viral marketing!