Whats The Deal With Online Advertising?

I’ve been sitting here thinking about the state of online advertising right now and I am pretty much confused. Here’s why.

Television commercials have succeeded at advertising because they are broadcasted to a large audience. So large in fact, it doesn’t take that many people to make a purchase for the ad to be considered a success. Because television ads are viewed by such a large audience, the ad doesn’t have to take into account personal information to make the ad more relevant. This is not confusing.

Now, let’s take a look at online advertising which I find to be confusing. I’ve read a number of reports and polls which claim that the average person would be fine with advertising if the advertising were more relevant to their tastes. How does a company display relevant advertising? Here’s how. They start saving data on their customers, keeping track of buying habits, viewing habits, browsing habits ect. However, there has been a major backlash by consumers that this is an invasion of privacy.

So the majority of people seem to be ok with viewing relevant ads but they are not ok with the way the relevant data is accumulated.

I don’t see people lining up to fill out surveys to voluntarily give this personal information to companies for more relevant advertising. In that case, what is one suppose to do to profit from online advertising? How do you make things relevant without breaching the consumer’s privacy. If customers think one way, companies think another, how will online advertising ever become a more established method of making income?

8 thoughts on “Whats The Deal With Online Advertising?

  1. At TV Add to be effective, you have to broadcast much as your pocket can… and at good slot…

    At online, you can fix the exact kind of add you will post at that very moment… with a big plus… if the user like it, he or she will click and you’ll have a big opportunity to make money with it… so… at TV, you just make almost a brainwash, and at online, you have to grab the user attention to click.

  2. What I mean is that as a copywriter I have to do research on my target market.

    So it’s not necessary to get surveys and such because the information is out there just by checking in forums and discovering what your target market wants.

    Many times you’ll find that people will mislead you on surveys because they want to tell you what you want to hear.

    When I take on a project as a copywriter my research time is spent investigating my target market in the places that they hang out. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline.

    When you hang out and listen to the questions they ask and see the pain that they feel then you can target your advertising directly to them.

    Its the super ninja secret copywriter resources we have to identify our market. But it’s really not secret, you just have to pay attention.

  3. With American consumers exposed to over 3,000 total advertising messages a day, an evolution has occurred where people tune out media much better than they used to. This includes much of the so called “relevant advertising”. All of the data collection and message targeting in the world won’t help you if your ad doesn’t cut through the massive clutter fog of competing ads.

    The bottom line is that if the ad’s message does not connect with the consumer, he will not pay attention, fill out surveys, etc. Too many company’s focus on the ad and ancillary tactics, and not the message, or how it will click in the consumer’s mind. This is probably a big reason why most ad campaigns fail miserably.

  4. I wonder if you have missed the point. Though many people say they would prefer, or even be ok with, advertising that is targeted to them I doubt highly that it is something they actually want. Speak to most people and an advert, or adverts, are a nessacery evil. they can understand why there have to be adverts and accept that, but it doesn’t mean they want to support them.

    By allowing data to be collected advertisments go from being something in the background you put up with to being something more intrusive. Whilst it is true that people would prefer to see adverts for stuff they might want at the same time they don’t want to feel like they are being watched by companies they never gave permission to watch them in the first place.

    Worries like identity theft, bank detail theft, computer viruses etc mean that people these days are worried by anything that has gained access to what they do on their computers, and understandably so.

    Where you ask ‘what is one supposed to do to make money from advertising’ you ask a very pertinant question, and one I don’t have an answer for. But it should be noted (and I doubt you meant it like this, just that it could be taken this way) that no one is owed a profit. No one ‘should’ make money by advertising, only those that create adverts people want to buy from are going to make money. I know, that creates something of a paradox with what i had just written, and that is a problem. But it is one that is going to have to be met by advertisers – punters aren’t going to just come up with the answers for them.

  5. I can see your points and tend to agree. I think some of the best advertising to come down the pike online is the advertising which doesn’t seem like advertising at all. For instance, a flash powered game which is more like an advertisement for a movie. Do you think more interaction elements like the example I described above is where advertisers need to go?

  6. Online advertising needs interaction to be successful. Without interaction, we’re plugging a square peg in a round hole.

    TV is passive. TV advertising is passive. TV advertising fits the audience.

    Currently, most online advertising is passive. People that are “surfing” the Net, however, are engaged in an activity. There surfing or browsing is not passive like TV. They have to do something to keep surfing.

    That’s why passive banner ads and stale AdSense ads perform so poorly. When advertisers figure out how to engage the surfer with their pitch, they will succeed. For example, textual links in content that go to affiliate sites like Amazon, for example, perform so much better than the banners that have such marginal click-through rates. These links are part of the browsing experience (when they are relevant to that experience). They point the reader to the next point to discover in their activities. Similarly, we’re now seeing that everyone wants to go viral – and so few succeed.

    The advertising medium must meet the reader where they are and entice them to interact. Online advertisers are doing very poorly at this now. The Internet is still very young compared to radio and TV media. We’re getting a lot of growing pains now trying to figure things out. Interaction, however, is the key.

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