Internet Advertising - What Went Wrong?

Written by Sam Vaknin

The decline in Internet advertising - though paralleled by a similar trend in print advertising - had more serious and irreversible implications. Most content dot.coms were based on ad-driven revenue models. Online advertising was supposed to amortize start-up and operational costs and lead to profitability even as it subsidized free access to costly content.

A similar revenue model has been successfully propping up print periodicals for at least two centuries. But, as opposed to their online counterparts, print products have a few streams of income, not least among them paid subscriptions.

Moreover, print media kept their costs down in good times and bad. Dot.coms devoured their investors' money in a self-destructive and avaricious bacchanalia.

But why did online advertising collapse inrepparttar first place? Was it ineffective?

Advertising is a multi-faceted and psychologically complex phenomenon. It imparts information to potential consumers, users, suppliers, investors,repparttar 100985 community, or other stakeholders inrepparttar 100986 firm. It motivates each of these to do his bit: consumers to consume, investors to invest and so on.

But this is notrepparttar 100987 main function ofrepparttar 100988 advertising dollar. Modern economic signal theory has cast advertising in a new and surprising - though by no means counterintuitive - light.

According to this theory,repparttar 100989 role of advertising is to signal torepparttar 100990 marketplacerepparttar 100991 advertiser's resilience, longevity, wealth, clout, and dominance. By splurging money of advertising,repparttar 100992 advertiser actually informs us -repparttar 100993 "eyeballs" - that it is here to stay, sufficiently affluent to finance its ads, stable, reliable, and dominant.

"If firm X invested a million bucks in advertising - it must be worth more than a million bucks" - goesrepparttar 100994 signal. "If it invested so much money in promoting its products, it is not a fly-by-night". "If it can throw money at an ad campaign, it is stable and resilient".

This signal is missing in online advertising. It drowns in noise. The online noise to signal ratio was unacceptable to advertisers - so they stopped advertising. Whenrepparttar 100995 noise to signal ratio tops a certain level - ads cease to be effective. The readers or spectators become inured torepparttar 100996 messages - both explicit and implicit. They tune off.

The noise in online advertising stems from two sources.

A critical element inrepparttar 100997 signal is lost ifrepparttar 100998 ad is not paid for. Only paid advertising conveys information aboutrepparttar 100999 purported health and prospects ofrepparttar 101000 advertiser. Yet,repparttar 101001 Internet is flooded with free advertising: free classifieds, free banner ads, ad exchanges. The paid ads drown in this ocean of free ads. There is often no way of telling a paid ad from a free one - without readingrepparttar 101002 fine print.

Moreover, Internet users are a "captive audience". It is easy to flip ad-besieged channels on TV, or turnrepparttar 101003 ad-laden leaf of a newspaper. It is close to impossible to avoid an ad onrepparttar 101004 Net. Banner ads are an integral part ofrepparttar 101005 page. Pop-up ads pop up. Embedded ads are embedded. One needs to install special applications to avoidrepparttar 101006 harassment.

Are Popups Ethical?

Written by Richard Lowe

The most important fact to understand aboutrepparttar internet is it is one huge communication device. Plain and simply, that is all thatrepparttar 100984 internet is and it is all that it does - communicate.

Thus, an effective website communicates to it's audience and, oftentimes,repparttar 100985 audience communicates back. In other words, an effective website is defined simply in a single sentence: it communicates well with it's intended audience. Period.

Now, if your intended audience is people who need a certain kind of widget, and you get those people to purchase your widgets, then your website is a success.

It does not matter ifrepparttar 100986 "non-target" audience doesn't get repparttar 100987 communication (and hence does not purchase). They are not repparttar 100988 target!

Now, folded into this equation isrepparttar 100989 matter of ethics. In order for a society to exist and it's members to prosper, rules are agreed upon for civilized conduct. Thus, you can expect that you can drive downrepparttar 100990 street without getting a rock through your window or a bullet in your back (at least in California). Civilized people have agreed that this is inappropriate behavior.

There is an even higher plain of ethics, where you decide to follow a code which is "higher" than that agreed upon by society. It is very interesting that there is a direct correlation between a person's ethics and his long term success. More ethical people tend to survive better than less ethical people (inrepparttar 100991 long term). I am not referring just to money here (although that is part ofrepparttar 100992 equation). This is overall quality of life. While Howard Hughes certainly was very rich, for example, I do not believe that inrepparttar 100993 later part of his life anyone could claim he was happy - his final years struck me as miserable. He was highly unethical, and this caught up with him.

Sorepparttar 100994 questions come down to: do you communicate effectively to your target audience, and do you present this communication in an ethical manner?

As an example, suppose you run an adult website. A person with ethics would not show adult pictures onrepparttar 100995 splash page, would require proof of age, and would advertiserepparttar 100996 site only to consenting adults. An unethical site might plaster hard core pictures everywhere without a care inrepparttar 100997 world, have weak protection against viewing by minors, spam everyone and embed every scum method of popping up, under, over and so forth that has been invented.

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