The Idea Dude


Monday, May 07, 2007

Why advertising on the Internet needs a new paradigm

Flipping through the last issue of Business 2.0, the one headline that jumped out at me was You can't just buy people's attention anymore, you must engage them. Google essentially has a done terrific marketing job with Adsense. The prospect of making thousands of dollars by putting up a website or blog is certainly enticing and being able to create a blog page in a matter of minutes has meant thousands of websites and blogs being created with no value other than trying to buy a click from an errant visitor who stumbles upon the page through the Google search. The irony is the Google drives the traffic to your site, you make a couple of cents but because it has convinced thousands if not millions like you to do the same, their profits are in the billions. i.e. they do the herding and also the harvesting, sweet deal.

The problem is that other than Google, those who really make money operate extremely high traffic sites because it is a volume game. The jury is out whether blog networks really work because the long tail is just as prevalent there as anywhere else. There more plankton in the sea than there are whales. So where is this going? Surely not more webpages, more splogs and more ads. That would be a travesty for the digital net.

Here's the question for you, name 3 ads that you remember when you were reading blogs today. Better still how many of you actually clicked on an ad after reading a blog entry in the last 7 days. The point is advertising in the digital highway is not unlike driving home on a busy Friday afternoon. You see a lot of billboards but can't remember too many of them. The next wave of advertising must first engage the people, get their attention and their permission and then serve them the punchline.


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