In the early days of Home Shopping Network (live TV, not online), we were doing some ethnographic research and started to find “physical clusters” of customers – neighbors or people who worked together. For example, one of these groups was nurses at hospitals, especially nurses who worked the night shift.
We looked for the most active member of the cluster (our “thought leader”) and asked them if they would help us with a “member get a member” program. Would they be willing to distribute discount coupons to their friends, especially ones who were not already customers? Time after time, the answer was:
“Honey, all my friends are already customers of yours”.
We launched the program anyway, because it was a pet project from upstairs – I was a junior marketer at that point so I couldn’t kill it ;) The program never, ever worked, no matter how hard we tried. It generated very few new customers while giving lots of discounts to people who were already active buyers. Basically, the cost of those discounts overwhelmed the value of the new customers generated.
Apparently a similar thing happens online with Social marketing.
As part of a DAA program that reviews academic research for DAA members, I was able to take a look at a paper titled: Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test by David Godes and Dina Mayzlin.
Continue reading Awareness versus Persuasion
Open your mind for a minute.
What if what the media / agency complex has been telling you all along about online advertising is not really true.Â What ifÂ AdvertisingÂ – from the end user (visitor) perspective – performs a fundamentally different job online than it does offline?Â What if the entire game is different than you think it is?Â MightÂ that explain why it’s so difficultÂ to get any agreement onÂ the value of online advertising?
Please bear with me; see if this makes any sense to you.
Offline, it’s important that you remember an ad.Â That’s because you are rarely in a position to take advantage of or act on the ad when you are exposed to it – unless you are sitting in front of a computer.Â Awareness, Recall, all those nice measurements the offliners do are important for offlineÂ Advertising, because the job of offline Advertising is get you to remember it so you canÂ Act onÂ the AdvertisingÂ when you are in aÂ position to do so.
Online, you can immediately investigate the products or services advertised, get 3rd party opinions, and so forth.Â You can convert Awareness to Intent and Desire in a matter of moments, if not take Action as well -Â Â if you are interested in what is being Advertised.
The fundamental answer to every question you have about online advertisingÂ might beÂ really simple, if you think this way:
Online Ads are Navigation
They are not Advertising, in the traditional sense of offline Advertising.
Content sources serve the role of traditional Advertising online.
Not the ad itself.
Online, the Web Site is the Ad.
Continue reading Online Ads are Navigation
As much, or perhaps more, than the rest of Display.
I mean, here’s a chance to get it right.Â
You know who the audience is what the context is of readers on a feed.Â But no, once again,Â theÂ brilliant Social engineersÂ go for Quantity, not Quality, which is the mistake the Web has been making since “Hits”.Â Quantity only makes sense if you can get Weight from the media,Â and the web has no Weight.
Here I am, reading the feed for the Freakonomics blog, and I get a dating ad (click to enlarge):
The Freakonomics blogÂ would beÂ a great advertising environment for so many products, whether you are in the Direct camp or the Brand camp.Â But instead, we’re just going to Repeat the Past.