Overview of Internet Advertising
For our second issue in the media series, we’re going to one of the newest options available to advertisers. The internet is relatively new to the advertising arena and is still pretty early in the evolutionary process. While some companies jumped on the internet bandwagon early, for most an internet advertising campaign does not represent a large percentage of their advertising budget. Not surprisingly, many of the early adopters and most effective internet advertisers are those companies that deal in technology. The good news with internet advertising is that it is scalable and you can get in the game and develop proficiency with a relatively small investment versus others methods.
Upside of Advertising Using the Internet
Because the medium is fairly new and options are virtually unlimited, we can easily make the case for a lot of upside for internet advertising. For the sake of brevity, I’ll try to limit it to a few of the most important aspects.
- The internet offers virtually seamless global opportunity. It’s worldwide.
- Internet advertising is relatively inexpensive versus other media.
- Through website or geographic selection, you can specifically target consumer profiles and locations.
- Through keyword selection and PPC options, you can target specific aspects of your products or services and limit expense.
- It is possible to customize campaigns economically to have a different message for different audiences.
- Internet advertising offers flexibility and interactivity that other media don’t such as combining elements of print and electronic in unique ways and the ability to receive and process real time consumer data.
Downside of Internet Advertising
As you might expect with a fairly new medium, there remain some questions in the minds of mainstream advertisers. Here are a few of the most common ones.
- The global reach can create demand with consumers that you cannot reasonably service.
- Since websites are segmented, it can be very difficult, and expensive, to reach the masses. You’re always hitting only segments unless you have an enormous budget.
- Research on internet ad effectiveness is still somewhat limited and unproven although getting better.
- Since most people surf for a specific reason, they easily and readily overlook your ads unless it fits that purpose. Fewer are in leisure mode than with other media options.
Main Thing To Know About Internet Advertising
As I warned in Issue 1 of this series, this section is my subjective commentary on the medium based on personal history. Feel free to disagree but these opinions are bought and paid for with years of experience. Anyway, here’s my two cents worth on web media.
With very few exceptions, we consider it essential for companies and brands to have an internet presence. The most effective advertising on the internet requires having your own website so get your website right before doing anything else. Next, we rarely recommend “mass” internet advertising campaigns, but limited campaigns of ads specifically targeted to your core franchise are generally effective. Improvements in various advertising vehicles allow you to target more specifically now than ever before so you can also be pretty efficient. Beyond that, our experience is one of diminishing returns so keep it focused and measure your impact.