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Editor's Note:

I just wanted to let my readers know that I've created a blog where I will be posting essays and articles I've written on digital and online marketing. It's an extension of Media Perspectives. I hope you continue to read and enjoy!

Here's the link: Jaffer Ali's Blog - Perspectives from a Media Contrarian

Thanks for Reading!

Time For A New Thinking Cap
by: Jaffer Ali

The usual prelude to [paradigm] the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require putting on a different kind of thinking-cap'...
--Thomas Kuhn, The Essential Tension

Our online trade publications are not very good at spotting anomalies. They are more interested in cheerleading than in presenting penetrating analysis. This is just one reason why so many articles persist in promoting targeting methodologies that tout relevance and recency, despite response rates that continue to decline across the board.

This is an anomaly.

Industry trades are quick to trumpet increases in online media spending, to wit the IAB's recent press release announcing a 23% increase in ad spending for 2011. This sounds impressive until you look deeper. When industry veteran, Dave Morgan was asked, 'What should keep publishers up at night?' His simple response was; 'The fact that impressions are growing faster than digital advertising expenditures.'

This is an anomaly.

As consumers register their growing disdain for advertising through pop up blockers, ever-lower CTRs and ever-higher abandon rates for pre-roll, marketers continue in their folly to push an immovable rock uphill.

This is an anomaly.

All things considered, perhaps it's time don a different kind of thinking cap? The pay wall model is one attempt. But I believe it will fail. Besides, it doesn't address the bigger problem of how to reach an ad-phobic public.

I have a simple suggestion. It begins by first acknowledging that in an on-demand media world, no one demands more advertising, and everyone is equipped and inclined to avoid it. This means that advertising itself is lousy bait. The fish are not biting so-to-speak.

Sounds to me like what we need is better bait. And the funny thing is, we already know what to use if we just turn down the noise in our heads long enough to realize it. Content is the PERFECT bait to charm audiences. It's the only thing we want online, and the only reason any of us ever visits any website. It's the complete antithesis of advertising. Advertisers must return to their roots and wrap themselves around content like they did in the golden ages of radio and television, when content was king and advertisers knew the audience was there for the show, and not the ads.

What's more, all content should be consumed on the advertiser's site. This means publishers need to give up their traffic and deliver the bundled content and visitor to the advertiser, where all parties in the media equation are better served - the consumer, the content provider/publisher, and especially the advertiser, the guy picking up the tab.

This is not theory. It's proven practice that we've been honing with video content for three years now. We own a video portal (Evtv1) that has delivered millions of viewers bundled with content to advertiser websites...including our own e-commerce site.

We needed to face up to the disharmonies presented by conventional online video models. This inspired us to don a new thinking cap, which allowed us to see the truth within the old Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.


Original Article: Time For A New Thinking Cap

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