The Future of Online Advertising
A super, thought-provoking article about the future of online advertising, by Felix Salmon.
"It’s a known fact in advertising circles that only idiots click on ads — and yet advertisers still think that click-through rates mean something, and that a higher click-through rate means a better ad. It’s the measurement fallacy: people tend to think that what they can measure is what they want, just because they can measure it. And it’s endemic in the online advertising industry."
"At one point in the Q&A session, I asked the audience to raise their hands if they read Vogue magazine; maybe three or four people, in a crowd a hundred times that size, did so. Most of the people in the audience literally didn't know that when people buy Vogue they want to read the ads; in a very real sense, the editorial is something which just gets in the way."
"So what’s an advertiser to do, online? My idea is to move away from the idea of getting people to click on ads, but at the same time to treat with suspicion the idea that it’s possible to deliver a beautiful, self-contained brand proposition online in the same way that you can in Vogue or on TV. Instead, take a leaf out of the book of sites which really have generated a huge amount of loyalty online - sites like Drudge, or Reddit, or Techmeme, or Fark, or any number of other aggregators and curators with enormous followings. Millions of people love these sites, and visit them with astonishing regularity. Why? Because they send them to fantastic third-party content."
Two words - value and content.