Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Marketing: Time to Play the Long Game: Advertising Is out; Education Is In

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Marketing: Time to Play the Long Game: Advertising Is out; Education Is In

Article excerpt

THE WORLD BEGINS its long slow spin from one decade to the next, the spin (or marketing) industry also is undergoing a marked transformation--from "impact" to "information."

In the 20th century the focus of marketing was on advertising--specifically on making a short, sharp impression. Advertisers' print creative had to pass the three second test--imparting as much positive information as possible before a potential customer quite literally turned the page.

The Internet, of course, is different. And when the World Wide Web happened, everything in marketing *should* have changed. But it didn't, and I blame the advertising agencies.

As anyone who works at an agency will tell you, agency people know "everything."

But when confronted by a new medium, the Internet, about which they knew zilch, those agency types were uncomfortable giving up everything they knew about creating print ads, not to mention the fat fees associated with them, and instead opted to take the print model of advertising, with all it's flaws, and force fit it onto the Web.

Take banner ads, for example, which run in rotations with multiple other advertisers on a Web site, effectively emulating the experience of a reader flipping through a magazine. Brilliant! (Stupid!)

Convincing to Buy Takes Time, Not Banners

Finally, though, CMOs and other marketing execs are cottoning onto the notion that using advertising to grab someone's attention for a few seconds is probably going to be incompatible to selling products to people whose decision cycles may be measured over a somewhat longer period of time.

This is especially true of b-to-b marketing, where customer buying cycles are often measured in years. So while it may be relatively effective to use a short, punchy message for peddling dishwasher detergent to consumers, trying to do the same with the CTO of a broadcast network who is evaluating which million dollar MPEG-4 Part 2 video codec to purchase is going to be a waste of time and money. …

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