Follow Customers, Not Technology

Bruce Nussbaum made a great point in a post about big ad agencies steering big businesses toward technically interesting sites that may be a bit too far ahead of the customers to warrant serious marketing efforts today. Things like Second Life and (in my opinion to a lesser degree) Facebook are certainly new opportunities for advertising, but are probably a bit ahead of the curve.

Are Big Ad Agencies So Clueless That Corporations Should Avoid Them?

Bottom line here is that many big ad agencies are making a huge mistake. They are pushing their corporate clients to chase technology, not their consumers. And if there is anything we know about the world we live in today, you must be one with your customers because your customers demand to be participants in your product/service/experience/brand. For example, sending big b2b companies who sell to 45-year-old men and women to FaceBook or Second Life is just nutty.

I think this happens because new techie initiatives are sexy and sex sells.

And let’s face it: no agency has ever won an award for training people on how to read and participate in other people’s blogs. Where the customers are.

Online Advertising Overtakes Newspapers in UK

The BBC reported last week that ad spending online has finally overtaken newspaper advertising in the UK:

Web ad spend overtakes newspapers

Online advertising expenditure jumped 41.2% to £2.01bn during the year, the report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

In contrast, spending on national newspaper ads grew just 0.2% to £1.9bn, taking a 10.7% share of the market.

I use the term “finally” since it’s been inevitable for so long. However, the UK is actually far ahead of the United States in migrating advertising to match today’s media consumption.

Here’s an obvious fact: more people use the web than read the newspaper.

Some businesses probably should be putting money into newspaper advertising first. For example, if I ran a funeral home, I’d probably start my ad spend with print ads in the obituaries section, followed by a Yellow Pages ad buy. What other businesses should look to newspapers before the web for their ad spends?

Does your business prioritize ad spending? Personally, I have a bit of a search engine bias, so I advise people all the time that they should spend as much as they can justify on search advertising before considering other forms of advertising since it’s the only place where prospects are actually turning themselves in based on the terms they search for. Once that’s tapped, it’s time to look at other advertising strategies.

If more businesses adopted the “search advertising first” approach to advertising, they’d see a bigger bang for their ad bucks, and end up asking tougher questions when it came time to make additional ad buys.

Ann Coulter and Lasik

I’ve been considering getting lasik for a while now. I’ve gone through the evaluation process, and that went well. And now I hear that LasikPlus has pulled their advertising from AnnCoulter.com based on her “faggot” comments about John Edwards.

I didn’t have any special relationship with LasikPlus before, but maybe I’ve found the reason I’ve been looking for to get in the chair.