Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mitch Joel at Twist Image: Maybe We Need To Ease Up On The Advertising

When you play in the Social Media sphere, a lot of people will refer to advertising as "interruption-based marketing". No one likes to be interrupted.

It has been a huge week for the online advertising community. Everybody is scrambling to figure out the ramifications of what Apple's soon to launch iAd platform will mean to the industry. As if it's not enough of a struggle to get your interactive development team primed to produce content and new digital environments for the iPad, this new iAd advertising network that Mr. Jobs and his team launched last week is going to force us to figure out how to create engaging advertising within the apps as well. Plus, let's be realistic here, what works on an iPhone won't work on an iPad (and vice versa) - although these devices look similar the usage, flow and user interaction is totally different.

But wait, there's more...

Today, Twitter announced their advertising platform, which sounds a little like Google AdWords. These sponsored tweets will appear at the top of the user's Twitter feed and will only appear if their content is relevant to the advertiser. People complained about optimizing two lines of text when Google launched their advertising model (people still complain about it), it's going to be fun to watch the creative juices squish around over 140 characters of text.

Where else can they nail consumers with interruption-based marketing in Social Media?

When it comes to Social Media, we need to shift away from advertising models and move towards better marketing models (more on that here: The Shift From An Advertising World To A Marketing World). With everything happening in online advertising, these two new advertising platforms will only further confuse an already littered landscape. We need to dig deep (much deeper) and consider the consumers (and how they connect) and what their needs really are all about.

Brands can do more. Brands can do better.

Why would a brand simply want to put a 140 characters of advertising drivel in someone's Twitter feed, when - for free - they can monitor the many references about their brand, listen closely over time and then figure out some semblance of a strategy around how to engage, connect and... GASP... Market to them more effectively? What would drive loyalty and passionate evangelism more? Engagement and adding value in the actual conversation or a random (unrequested) message to kick off their Twitter stream?

What would have been interesting...

Is if Twitter (and Apple, for that matter) had come out and said, "listen, no more ads. We have created an internal agency that will assist brands in better understanding the many opportunities that can come from engaging in our communities. We have the data, we know who people are connected to and what they're talking about, and these insights will be able to help you better communicate and market to those people. We can also use this data to show you the type of individuals who are looking for the products and services you sell, and all you have to do is better communicate to them why they should buy from you."

The gold is not in advertising to people. The gold is in the data. The gold is in using the data to become a better Marketer.

Is it just me or as brands really missing the bigger idea?
Six Pixels of Separation

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