Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why Television Is Not The Internet

In Joe Marchese’s most recent column, he wrote about an Economist piece that claims that, in regards to advertising, television still rocks.

The major argument that the Economist puts forward is that the Internet is not good at creating awareness, at scale, for brands.

Bang on.

The Internet, as we’ve been saying for some time now, doesn’t scale in regards to advertising. That’s why the Internet is not where brands should be in order to create awareness. The reason that brands should be on the Internet is to create advocates.

Online fits into individual purchase decisions when that individual is further down the purchase funnel. What they find online is often the tipping point between brand A and brand B.

As well, once a consumer does purchase, online is great for maintaining loyalty.

In other words, the Internet is fantastic for talking with smaller groups of people in greater depth.

Rather than scale, an advertiser’s objective with online advertising should be to get the consumer to spend more time with their brand, leaving less time (and hopefully, interest) for the consumer to spend with the competitor’s brand.

The Internet is not about how many are exposed to the brand and its messaging. Rather, the Internet is about how long they are engaged with the brand and its messaging.

Which is why instead of short messages to large audiences, online advertising should be focusing on longer messages to smaller audiences.

Simply put, online is about how long. Not how many. Television does the latter really, really well.

But, if you're looking for the former, the best place to be is online.

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