Hate Advertising? Get over it.

I was a speaker at Ad:Tech in SF earlier this year and I’m sick of hearing my Social Media colleagues (who I still respect greatly) complain about why they hate advertising: “It’s intrusive, it’s nasty, it looks horrible, it doesn’t work”

Get over it, it’s not going away
See Social Media folks are marketers at heart, they are conversationalists, communicators, and community advocates. We believe that we can be a better society by getting rid of the blasting of messages from the ivory towers. The funny thing is, on many of these folks websites, I see them have banner advertisements or ad units promoting the next conference they go to –ironic.

Much of the internet’s revenue is from Ads

As I understand it, 85% of Google’s revenue in the past has been from online advertising. Contextual Ad sense is Advertising, sure it’s not the annoying “punch a monkey” type of advertising, but it’s still advertising. I predict Google will start to do this with video in the near future, it’s certainly not going away. Read my predictions about Google and Online Video.

We hate shotguns

Advertising is a shotgun approach, and sadly that means that innocents are subjected to the chaff. Advertising messages are often (or should be) targeted at a specific group or demographic, when we’re subjected to advertising that’s not aimed at us, we often don’t like it or try to screen it out.

We love lasers

When Advertising is focused and hits the right target, not unlike a laser, it hits home and resonates. Advertising becomes part of our culture, and people start to talk about (that’s a conversation) from Budd-wise-er, to Got Milk. We hate advertising when its not for us, but in the rare times that it’s on the mark, it resonates with us, and becomes part of us. This can apply for text ads, mobile, ads, and most importantly, contextual ads.

Even though we don’t like it, advertising works

Advertising works. In business school, we were taught that 11-13 impressions of a brand (often advertising) will cause the prospect to be highly likely to try or purchase the product. This is a deep rooted human, psychological, and sociological instinct that’s difficult to ignore.

The Future
Is it possible for products to be adopted by people without word-of-mouth networks? Absolutely. Is it possible for both to co-exist? Advertising online will become more targated, the advanced media buyers will shift to sponosorships, and technology will allow us to triangulate data online, and using mobile devices like never seen before. If done right, there will be more lasers than shotguns.

Online Advertising will evolve, as will word of mouth, conversations, and communities too. Let’s evolve with it.