Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Advertising on the Internet

The internet is a wonderful thing. And it is still in its infancy.

Think about the advent of radio or television broadcasting.

A nice invention, but how do you make money with it was a question someone must have asked a long, long time ago.

Eventually advertising was used to support this "free medium". I say free, because after buying a radio or television, you were not obligated to spend anymore money except for the electricity to power the radio or t.v.

Later people started paying a subscription fee to get extra channels via a cable t.v. service. Those in the Television Broadcasting business locally tell me that penetration for cable, FIOS, or satellite services is 80% in our Metro.

Wow, 4 out of 5 people pay extra money each month to watch television.
Next thing, people will pay extra for bottles of water that is no different than the water they can get out of their tap.

See how we become conditioned to accept things through marketing?

Another piece of technology that changed our viewing habits was the wireless remote control. With dozens, no, make that hundreds of channels piped into our homes, can you imagine having to stand in front of your television to change the channel until you find what you want?!

The remote also made it easy for us to flip the channel when a commercial came on. But studies show, that the number of people that flip during a commercial break is directly related to the quality of the commercial as judged by the viewer.

So what about this internet thing? Can anyone make money with it? Yes, but it will take more than setting up a website and waiting for the money to come rolling in. Quite frankly, methods of advertising online that worked 5 years ago, such as banner ads, are not as effective, generally speaking as they used to be.

Consumers have learned to tune out advertising, so it will take a marriage of advertising methods and creativity, coupled with the understanding of basic human emotions and behavior, to make an internet ad campaign successful. And odds are that within a few years, you will need to use different methods to reach your online audience, which is okay.

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