Friday, July 08, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Another blip on death of tv ads

+ Advertising is Dying claims this article. And rather than advertising, we should be looking to persuade on a larger scale.

If traditional advertising still works for you, I bet you aren't really advertising. You're persuading.

Before I explain, let me pose a question: What's the difference between advertising/marketing and sales?

Truth is, they're almost identical. Or they should be. The only true difference between the two is the ability to accurately measure cause and effect. It's easier to fire an ineffective salesman than an ineffective ad firm. At least, it used to be.

Ineffective advertising has finally been exposed, and, like a vampire, it's withering away under the rays of sunlight.

Where does the light come from? Web analytics. Web analytics is a cure for not only bad advertising but also bad sales. We can now measure the effects of offsite ads and online conversion. We can measure what actually happens rather than speculate. We see when e-mail or banners are working but the site is failing. We know more about our customers, what they do, and in some cases why they do it.

Slowly, companies are getting wise to this ability to measure the buying and selling processes. Online, accountability is built in at every turn. Companies are posing questions about their offline campaigns. They're losing patience with advertising and all its promises. It's not that advertising is getting worse. Actually, it seems better and more relevant. It's just too little, too late.
He goes into more details on the "why" in the article. There is truth in what he's saying, but at the same time, the online aspects of what he discusses doesn't change some of the reasons he gives, like "badvertising" - or the spread via word of mouth, etc about a bad product, etc. Those are things that need changing at a corporate level and really don't have much to do with advertising. Advertising can get people to try a bad product, but not even web advertising can fix that. Unless the product changes that is.

I also disagree with the media fragmentation point he makes. I think, in that respect, traditional advertising becomes more effective. You're able to target more likely customers and people who will be interested in what you have to say, even if they have TiVO or their finger on the remote. True, for some advertisers, reaching the mass population is important. But for a lot of others, it makes more sense to be more targeted. Plus, as many cable networks are owned by one group, I'd imagine (although I'm not positive on this) that there must be some sort of media deals that can be bought to incorporate the relavent stations which show similar programming- like MTV and VH1 or Food Network, HGTV, and DIY TV. And if not, perhaps this is something that those channels might want to consider.

One thing that really does get my goat are the blanket statements made about online vs traditional media. Online is really becoming traditional now. It's taken some time but there really wasn't much of a web 10 years ago, especially in the way we think of it today. Sure there were news groups and email and things of that nature, but it's still relatively young. There are still crappy online advertisements as well, and to claim that it's the best overall, is really inane. Yes, it has benefits that other traditional media does not. Yet, advertisers are still figuring out the power of the web, and how it can really be most effective. There have been many changes in the last 10 years with the web and I'm sure it will continue to be a changing landscape, espeically for advertisiers in the next 10. Traditional advertising will not go away. It might morph and change to be slightly different from what we know it as, but I cannot see it evaporating away, like so many have been claiming of late.

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