(Publisher's Note: The following appeared at Audio Graphics on December 28, 2000.
Nobody has been able to escape the flood of stories on the failure of dot-com advertising.
Read any traditional press and you're going to come across something that tells you how many web sites have folded, how click-throughs have dropped through the floor, or how it's being accepted that online advertising doesn't work.
"Make no mistake, Internet advertising works."
Two points I'd like to make: 1) Traditional media has a lot to gain by keeping this facade alive. 2) Part of the problem is the Internet industry is moving too fast.
About point 1, literally every study you read shows how online ad spending is up and will continue to rise at rates never before seen in the ad industry. This is a frightening thought for those in old media. They know overall
ad growth will not be the same as in previous years so, if revenue is up for the dot-coms, this means that money has to come from old media budgets.
Traditional media will benefit if they convince advertisers spending dollars online won't work. If the advertisers stay with old media, they'll at least get the same return.
Uncharted waters always bring
On to point 2, web sites must slow down their offerings.
It takes effort to understand what benefits Internet advertising brings.
New words like 'user visits, time-spent-on-site (TSOS), rich media, and ad serving must be digested, they must be learned.
Traditional ad agencies are slow to move, yet they're the first companies that need education. But, how can we educate when as soon as the first lesson is over there's something new on the horizon that must be considered?
Make no mistake, Internet advertising works. It places a client's message in front of an audience (that usually is much more targeted than any other 'mass' media.)
As for the demise of dot-coms, it was bound to happen with all the high-hope web sites offering no relativity to users. However there are tens-of-thousands of web sites left standing. These will learn from the mistakes of those that folded.
Truth is there is no dot-com debacle, just a normal initial crunch that has been seen in many industries before.
...as for the Internet industry moving too fast, that may be the biggest hurdle.
When Internet sites slow down to let the people who don't live, eat, and breath the web catch up, you'll see agencies (and clients) look at using online ads. Once this group grasps the reality - that advertising on the Internet can be effective, efficient, and targeted much better than any other type of ad - online advertising will spread like crazy.
Traditional media may be hammering the dot-com sector today. But come 2001 you will see many of them reporting a new interest in online ads.
That's because next year the online industry will be slowing down enough to let the world catch up.
Quotes from Ken. Year, 2000:
The radio industry hasn't killed the golden goose. It's just laid an egg producing
a quality product ...that is why revenues are going to go down.
Very few radio stations have become involved in using e-mail to market their product,
or to entice listeners.
Pay-for-placement on search engines is likely to become a standard
You'll be seeing many more of these stand alone radio/video sites close in
the near future, due to broadband's low penetration.
Broadband will still take some time to deliver the numbers. But youth have
been claiming the Internet, and anything related to computers, as
'their' turf for a least two years.
Have a safe and merry holiday.