Traditional advertisers now understand just how much of an impact this “internet marketing thing” has on their advertising business. The fact that the collective attention span is getting shorter and shorter; and that the economy isn’t exactly going gangbusters, has also put them in a tough situation. We’ll take a quick look at history, and then see how you can apply the lessons to your current marketing efforts.
The number of people online is still growing, and every time somebody is online, it means that they are not being exposed to traditional forms of advertising. It would seem logical that advertising firms would then simply move some of their advertising from one medium and put it on the internet.
In fact, a lot of advertisers tried doing that in the early days of the internet. For a while, it looked as though you could put anything online and it would bring back a high return on the marketing investment. It was crazy in a way, and the boom garnered a lot of attention; causing even more money to be invested in online advertising.
Soon, web properties were worth a lot of money. To put it another way, many of them were seriously over-valued. This false sense of worth made people in the advertising business pay top dollar to advertise on these websites, and things were looking good. Then came the crash.
The people involved made some major errors in judgment, but such errors are always easier to spot many years later, aren’t they? First, they needed to be more risk-averse considering that it was still a new technology. While it seemed to be exploding in popularity at the time, there were just too many unknowns. Second, they didn’t understand the mindset of the people using the internet.
It was the lack of understanding that caused the biggest problem. See, what the advertising business failed to realize was that their internet marketing had to appeal to the people who were online. Some advertisers tried to transport existing campaigns to the online environment…and failed miserably; while others tried to sound “hip”, but came across as trying too hard…and failed miserably. To be fair, there were some advertisers who understood, and those are the same ones who weathered the fallout.
So, what can we learn from all of this? The main lesson is that the advertising business and internet marketing are not synonymous. This has advantages and disadvantages, but understanding the differences is the key to success.
The fact that traditional advertising doesn’t transpose to the web doesn’t mean advertising can’t be done successfully. Perhaps a regular television commercial or standard print ad won’t work online, but they can be tweaked in a way that draws internet users in and makes them hungry to buy. Another thing to consider is that people use credit cards when buying online, which makes upsells that much easier. Once you understand the market, then you will be able to tap into that market; and that holds true in both the advertising business and internet marketing.