Online advertising isn’t dying, it’s just a market correction

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

Everything swings from left to right and back again until it settles into a balance. For example, a few years ago Six Sigma was all the rage. Everything had to be lean engineered until the rock bled. It was the same thing with new technology and all of the web ads and banners. Almost everyone was going to make millions of dollars just by having a cool web site and charge thousands of advertisers fees to place ads on their site. All other forms of marketing was considered a dinosaur. In business and marketing, such drastic swings are to be expected. Everyone is looking for the quick fix or the newest “killer app” (especially if it’s free or cheap) or trying to something (ROI) for little or nothing invested.

Time has a way of balancing things out. Common sense and logic usually wins out in the end. Once the rush of the next cool thing has died down, true marketing principles re-emerge and everyone gets back to solid marketing basics. The real winners are those who still do the “blocking and tackling” as well as executing the cool and innovative. In a recent study, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has released findings for online revenue. Here’s what they found:

• Online revenue has dropped 5.3% from 2008
• Display advertising is down 1%
• Online classifieds and directories are down 38%

The bright spots:
• Search revenue was up 2%
• Time spent on social networking has tripled (*Footnote – though people spend time on these sites, no one yet, has been able to figure out how to monetize this category. It’s hard to be a business when you give away everything. (See my blog “The point of social media is not to sell anything”)

Smart, experienced marketers still understand that there is no “killer app” or silver bullet. Great marketing comes from smart, innovative, integration of all of their marketing arsenal. This creates momentum from one tactic to another. A well, thought out marketing plan creates great synergy between their individual tactics that builds the brand. Online advertising is an important component, but it’s not the be-all savior of the marketing world. It’s like saying, what’s more important, your arm or your leg?


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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