Media Influencer

helping people break out of pigeonholes since 2003

The fog of advertising

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Rob Scoble on FOG – Fear of Google. I note his third point, about advertising:

Google is changing expectations of advertisers. One advertising agency
exec told me she’s seeing that more and more advertisers are only
willing to pay for “the last click” — she works for an airline, for
instance, who wants to see ROI reports on all ads now, so it’s getting
harder and harder to do creative advertising (which is where
advertising agencies add their value and get their fees) in exchange
for “boring” text ads. Online “pay per action” ads are training
advertisers that they should be able to track everything about
advertising and how well it’s working for them. Of course, as we were
talking about this on the bus we rolled by a Coca Cola umbrella. I
wonder how well THAT is converting!

As I have been saying to anyone willing to listen – advertising will stampede online (after the time it has taken to build the momentum). This is not evidence of online advertising working but evidence of eyeballs fleeing into space where they turn back into people – the internet. First, there was much rejoicing – we can measure the impact of ads, hurray! We can track all eyeballs and target them – note the military language. But the sword with which the advertisers have hoped to cut through the knot of ROI is double-edged. [/classical allusion]. Now they can see just how little attention people pay to online advertising. So here comes the second stage – the cost of advertising should decline at some point as companies using ads to reach ‘consumers’ will realise that a) they are not getting value for their money and b) there are much better ways to communicate with people out there.

Oh, and advertisers want to track everything about you on the Internet.
They want to know if you saw a blog about something, and a banner about
that, and other stuff about that — how does that all mix into your
purchasing behavior. They are looking to Google to give them more
answers. I heard more than one brand manager decry that he couldn’t see
anything about you other than you clicked on an ad on Google to find
his company’s stuff.

Why should brand managers know where and why I click? I have no connection with them. I might want to have one with people who work for the company, those who design and make their products, deliver their services…etc, if only they talked to the world directly.

Tracking is like spying, especially as all it seems to be is a prelude to targeting. And who wants to be a target? Marketers and advertisers are tracking eyeballs in spaces that are not their own and do so surreptitiously. They want to do this in places that have nothing to do with them, on their own terms, fitting the results into their own packaging. This is what I imagine Chris Locke means by slicing and dicing, counting the legs and dividing by four, bringing in the sheep.

True, I can track those who read my blog (although I rarely do), I monitor who links to it (so I can respond and occasionally find new blogs). Others can see what I read (my furls) and what I think. Note, it’s a two-way thing and everybody knows where they stand. But when it comes to advertisers, I need to sweep my computer now and then of tracking cookies and other adware. Different world, different manners.

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2 Responses to “The fog of advertising”


  1. MyMindshare Blog
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 15:57 pm

    Tracking and targeting BS

    Adriana, the unwitting godmother of MyMindshare hits the nail on the head: Media Influencer: The fog of advertising. But the sword with which the advertisers have hoped to cut through the knot of ROI is double-edged. [/classical allusion]. Now they


  2. Amy Alkon
    on May 20th, 2007
    @ 23:11 pm

    Hi, Adriana…I found your blog through my good friend and yours, Jackie Danicki.

    I think advertisers need to see advertising not just as a per-click thing, but for example, look at branding. I have pretty high-quality commenters on my site, and those commenters have been looking at a Volvo ad for a month. Now, a car isn’t an impulse purchase — and so seeing that ad day after day, as they’re spending a lot of time reading and commenting on my blog, is actually very smart advertising.

    Think qualitative, in other words. And then there are “get it now” offers. But, even in magazines, where there’s a “limited time offer” very few people are actually going to go for them, vis a vis total readership. And maybe even with those, it takes seeing the ad a few times to be moved to actually act.

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