Advertising In The Digital Storm.

November, Friday 13th, 2009

Welcome back, once again, to the latest installment of my blog. I thank you again for tuning in. This week we covered more Search Engine Optimization. But I ran through that last blog post, and as we have already covered, we don’t have the attention span for that kind of thing any more. So we’re going to jump ahead to next week and talk a little about advertising and virtual environments. Sort of a two-parter if you will. This week we’re going to talk more about the advertising and then next week we are going to talk more about working within the virtual environments to generate profits.

Now when I prepare to write one of these things I usually stop by TED and check out whats new, good, or relevant. This time I happened to stumble across Rory Sutherland talking about perceived value that advertising contributes to products or services. And that got me thinking about what exactly does advertising get us as online marketers. To look at this a little further we also need to know what advertising is to a marketer as well.Traditional marketing methods would have us shouting to get the attention of the consumer with every advert that is seen on T.V. or in a magazine. And John Wanamakers famous saying about where his advertising dollars are going is actually closer to the truth than he knew. In fact, according to The Economist, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) puts the amount of money wasted on fruitless advertising at $220 billion world-wide and the total budget is $428 billion. So what does all this mean. it means that for advertising there is still a long way to come before we figure out what is truly effective in acquiring new customers, and swaying competitors customers away from our rivals.

So what does this mean for online marketing. Well let us see. First, it means there is a great chunk of the advertising resource distribution pie that is going to waste on traditional marketing methods. Secondly, these dollars can be directed towards online marketing efforts if we (the online marketers) can justify to management the cost-benefit ratio. Thirdly, the fact that we can use accurate historical server records to properly develop detailed reports on website traffic behaviours enables us to analyse a cost-benefit ratio.

But I still don’t think we’ve really narrowed down what advertising gets us. OH! I see, maybe its not what advertising gets us but maybe its what advertising gets the customer instead. According to The Value of Advertising website the consumer actually gets benefit from the advertising. The trick is making the customer understand the benefits of the advertising dollars. For instance right now MAC is promoting itself as the easier computer to use and with much better customer service to boot. And they are doing a really good job as well. This actually helps to allow Apple to sell their computers for 2-3 times what a PC would go for and people barley think twice about it. Regardless of the fact that apple computers are PC’s with a different operating systems.  So the customer receives the ‘benefit’ of knowing that MAC is a ‘better’ computer to use than a PC because customer service is reportedly better as well as usability. Knowledge, choice. This is what good advertising provides the customer. Now that we have this out of the way. Next week we will apply some of this to the varying virtual worlds that have sprung up as potential marketing well-springs over the last few years.

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