Traditionally, clients hired agencies to interface with publishers in order to reach consumers. And while that's still happening, a number of other client to consumer routes are emerging, all of them more direct, and many of them able to handle rush-hour traffic.
Advertising, despite the math and science introduced by the Internet, is still a visually driven purchase. Advertisers like to see their own ads within the right content environments. "Right" means not appearing in wrong places that result in an e-mail or worse, from the CEO. That is why porn has never been an option, despite the massive reach and consumer engagement this content category delivers. The line has always been porn, but any controversial edit can inhibit advertisers from advertising.
According to TNS Media Intelligence, online advertising spending will climb to $20 billion in the U.S. in 2006. But as a former research analyst who used to help produce these very forecasts, I've always been uncomfortable with them. Not just because of the methodologies, but because of the practical value of the resultant data....
Every time a salesperson asks you to renew your newspaper subscription, do you find yourself thinking, "Is this even worth the $24.95 a year?" Sure, $24.95 isn't that much, but when up-to-the-minute news is a mouse click away--and free--why should you pay for a subscription to a print publication? Offline publishers are struggling with that very question themselves.
My fiancée and I cooked chicken parmesan roulades last night. We got the recipe from a magazine she just subscribed to called Cuisine at Home. I was struck by a little red box that directed readers to the magazine's Web site for a video complement to some of the technique called for by the recipe. It was a clean execution of a simple but fabulous idea--using the Web to enhance the value of a print publication.
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