Internet Advertising Pros and Cons

Internet advertising is the way of the future and it is turning into the way to reach consumers right now. We have fragmented our time between radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, direct mail, word of mouth and of course the Internet. The internet is winning out as the way to reach the largest aggregate audiences (Google reaches more people than most prime time TV shows) with 88% of people saying the internet plays a role in their daily life and Google getting around 50% of all search traffic. But that is just one internet property and there are hundreds of thousands. It is becoming imperative that every marketing campaign and product launch have an online component and most are driven by their online campaigns in reaching (and tracking) the largest audience of any media. (I wonder when the costs/prices will match that of a 30 second spot during prime time TV?)  So it is no suprise that there were a flurry of articles out today saying that internet advertising will surpass Newspaper ad revenue soon, and all other forms of advertising not long after. Of course this is a paradigm shift and a wealth/revenue re-allocation that a lot of people are not very happy about. But, I think it makes more sense. Here are my reasons why I think advertising online is the core of any marketing or advertising plan:

1. You reach the largest percentage of the US public, cited above 88%. This would include advertising on major portals and search engines, and a lot of impressions, clicks and a coordinated campaign with offline media.

2. It’s 100% trackable. You can’t track offline media. Who watches your commercials and sees your bollboards? Who knows?

3. It is interactive. Get them linked directly to the product and in the position to buy or convert within a few clicks. It’s easier than getting them to go from newspaper to store. (unless your product is something that is mainly store bought like groceries or gasoline for your car, there are exceptions…but I do wonder why some consumer companies don’t sell direct to the public too?)

4. People are more likley to share their experiences with your product. Sharing via social networking sites is popular, and many companies are working that feature into the campaigns themselves.

5. It’s cheaper. It will drive more conversions in a more trackable way and be cheaper overall and per conversion. (most likley, of course there are exceptions.)

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