Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reach vs. Search vs. Share

It appears as if we will all need to learn a new media monetization model. That is, if you give any credence to Facebook's announcement of their new Engagement Ads.

What's interesting is that each monetization model — Reach vs. Search vs. Share — works best on a single platform, rather than across platforms. Reach works best on broadcast, or, the offline platform. Search works best online. And, while Share, too, works online, it's really only effective as a Social Media strategy.

Why is this?

As Jeremiah Owyang, senior analyst at Forrester put it, "Users on social networks are looking to communicate with others and express themselves."

Which is different than when they are online "searching for information."

When the user is in Search mode, they are interested in bringing information in. When they are in Share mode, they are interested in giving information out.

In both cases, the information could be about brands and/or products. But, the information must be presented to the consumer in very different ways.

Which means two very different types of creative. Not to mention, two very different types of media monetization models.

Reach, is now, and, will probably remain in the foreseeable future, bought and sold based on size. CPM won't go away. It's just best used as an offline monetization model.

Search, which too often is still incorrectly sold on impression-based metrics, will soon be sold more and more on duration-based metrics.

Share, on the other hand, will need to be sold on a third basis, what I'm calling expression-based metrics.

In Share, it's the user who's increasing the reach of the brand message. So isn't it only right that the advertiser pay the user for distribution?

Not directly in dollars, mind you. But perhaps in a type of reward program.

Reach vs. Search vs. Share.

Three different media monetization models.

No, it doesn't bode well. After all, most of us are having a hard enough time with one.

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