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Why do advertisers, who were so effective offline, not know what to do online? Because tricks they developed over years to ensnare consumer do not work online. They do not work because environment has changed drastically. Before vendor was in control; today, online, consumer is in control. Before vendor could play on emotions of more or less "captive" consumer; todcay consumer has an infinite number of choices. Before ads were effective by themselves; today you must get consumer to do something - click.
In other words, consumer is boss. Advertising, like everything else on Net must be helpful to consumer. Using wile to catch consumer will not work. Annoying consumer with spam messages, or even with opt-out messages, will not work. Stealing "context" from competitor sites decreases consumer trust, and will not work.
Let us get back to advertising that works. What Google and other search engines do is sell ads related to keywords. When your chosen keyword is picked by a user, your website message appears on right side of results page under Sponsored Links. Other search engines list them under Preferred Sites or similar headings.
These successful ads are characterized as follows:
> They do not try to ensnare you
> They do not try to interrupt you
> They do not try to hurt others
> They are obviously ads
> They are related to your current interest
> They are INFORMATIVE
The last item is key:
> THEY ARE INFORMATIVE!
Good online advertising is INFORMATIVE ADVERTISING. It does not try to manipulate visitor in any way. It earnestly tries to be helpful. It earnestly tries to build trust. It earnestly tries to steer consumer to a site, but only if advertiser feels site may be helpful to consumer.
Of course context is important. Context is one way advertiser knows he may be helpful to visitor. But context is not enough. The important consideration is how you use context: to exploit or to help.
Everyone agrees that newsletter advertising works. Why? Not merely because context is right, although this is important. Newsletter advertising works because, for most part, it is Informative Advertising.
The old-fashioned advertising, which culminates today with "contextual advertising," or as I call it "contextual stealing," is dying. The best type of advertising - today on Net, but tomorrow off Net, as well - is informative Advertising. Informative Advertising is part of an integrated marketing strategy called Helpfulness Marketing.
Paul -the soarING- Siegel is a provocative Internet speaker and author of HELPFULNESS MARKETNG, a book stressing learning, cooperation and community. Learn about it at http://www.learningfountain.com/helpfulnessmarketing.htm Subscribe to newsletter, LearningFOUNT; send blank email to: mailto:LearningFOUNTfirstname.lastname@example.org.