How Interactive Media is Changing Marketing

Jun 28th

Language has historically been butchered by politicians pushing their own agenda, but as networks get better at spreading information quickly, we are immersed in more information than we know what to do with, and more people are voting for ideas / spreading messages without even thinking through what they are voting for. I can't count how many times I have felt duped by supporting things that I later found out to be pure crap.
In a blog post Google tells us why they are buying DoubleClick:

In short, Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick will benefit all parties in the online advertising business, including advertisers, publishers, agencies and, most importantly, consumers.

Wow! The world is going to be better for EVERYONE!!! Gee those guys really are out to make the world a better place.

Corporate drivel has been around far longer than I have, but the fundamental changes that are occurring right now are due to people voting for causes without even thinking what their votes mean. Of course that has always happened, but now we have quick direct measurable feedback of how people reacted, searchable databases of past successful marketing campaigns, and a network quickly willing to go wherever potential revenue exists.

Networks are trying to capture and spread passion in ways that have never been possible before. Consider Google Earth Outreach, which allows non-profits to spread their messages on Google Earth. Every non-profit using this builds the Google brand, which helps Google make more money selling ads for Ponzi schemes, among other things.

Was that unfair? Perhaps, but the point is that even if we are a good judge of character it is hard to understand the full affect of our actions on a network so complex. Worse yet, marketers realize that people vote for many ideas without even thinking them through or reading them. Good headline...wow. So then people package information to cater to the hollow voting systems.

Marketers (like me) are creating more and more elegantly wrapped and packaged informational research studies that starts with the end goal, and collects whatever facts are necessary to justify them. Consider The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth, a study which came up with results like Nearly 58 percent said government should be doing more, not less. What should the government be doing more of? What question did they ask to get that result? Worse yet, even by calling that study crap (and linking to it) I just voted for it and gave it further credibility.

The endless drive toward efficiency by ad networks is hollowing out the viability of profitable content creation, while increasing the profit margins for those spreading remarkably biased misinformation.

It really doesn't matter what compartment we put ourselves in. Someone is willing to act as a leader, tell us what we want to hear, and display targeted ads. Should information agents look beyond popularity when considering the value of information? Will the web end up further fracturing society by making it too easy to find like-minded people who have little care for truth?

Published: June 28, 2007

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Comments

July 6, 2007 - 1:40pm

Adsense by itself is really a great monetizing tool. At least intially (before any smart pricing stuff) a publisher was paid regardless of what the content was. A click from a critical review paid the same as one from a review praising the company. Because Google centralized and aggregated the ad system a publisher didn't have to worry about catering to advertisers -- something that has slanted both print and television media for years.
http://www.evision.com.pk

Paris
June 29, 2007 - 5:48am

The curse of our age is superficiality. The root of this is an out of balance focus on the self and the selfishness that results. Issues that are deep take a depth of looking, time, and the ability to tolerate cognitive dissonance for a time. Paul predicted the age clearly in his letters. "the time will come when they will not endure sound teaching but will heap up for themselves teachers to suit their own likings" , "they will wander from the truth and be turned to fiction", "times of stress will come because men will be lovers of self and lovers of money..." Corporations look at the short term more often than not. Which is easier, to aggregate with a few feeds or really build? What happens when we have 2 billion commercials? The cream will rise to the top. Darkness frames the light. Blandness makes us crave for salt.

filibuster
June 29, 2007 - 10:53am

Paris.

The idea that selflessness is a cure to all evils is total nonsense.

One only has to look at terrorists who selflessly sacrifice themselves to a greater cause. Self-survival is a critical factor for a health human and this new age idea of selflessness cure that has crept into the popular conscious is hollow and bunk.

What’s even worst is the tendency to want to inflict through government the idea that others must be coerced to be selfless. Positively evil and dangerous.

Paris
June 29, 2007 - 8:05pm

Terrorists are a perfect example of the superficiality of world view, a contraction of awareness centered around a limit an nonchallaged view. Their actions are supremely selfish sometimes in view of gaining a harem of virgins. Who's talking about government? Free your mind.

Andrew Johnson
June 30, 2007 - 10:40pm

Thanks for that link Aaron, may be someone will finally attention -- at Google and Yahoo (really shouldn't be singling Google out on this one.)

When a publisher is monetizing purely through CPM ads they try to maximize their traffic, when its PPC they try to maximize clickthroughs, when it is performance based they try to maximize leads, sales, or whatever action the advertiser pays for.

Adsense by itself is really a great monetizing tool. At least intially (before any smart pricing stuff) a publisher was paid regardless of what the content was. A click from a critical review paid the same as one from a review praising the company. Because Google centralized and aggregated the ad system a publisher didn't have to worry about catering to advertisers -- something that has slanted both print and television media for years.

Paying for performance is fair. The problem is it causes information pollution. Just like politicians say things they don't believe in to hold power, internet publishers are saying things they don't really believe in order to pay the bills.

Coming full circle, I think this is something thats always happened. I understand there is a huge difference in bias when reading Businessweek verse The Economist. Everyone makes judgements based on both context and source. Salesman, mechanic, scientist, pope, politician, regulator -- everyone is slanting their true views in order to achieve some goal, commercial or otherwise.

The good news is that the internet evolves. It also makes it very easy for the underdog to win. While one company may bias themselves for $100,000, many people are standing in line ready to throw off that bias for $1,000 or less.

Wikipedia is a damn good example. Its far from perfect but there are hoardes of people working for free which any commercial entity would have to spend millions of dollars just to reproduce. Perhaps because of this (or just tons of backlinks) Google has given Wikipedia great rankings.

Online or offline, we have to question were content appears and precisely who is authoring that content or information.

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