Hot Topic - Digital / Online Advertising
For two centuries and two decades advertising people have enjoyed a privileged life. They have benefitted from one innovation after another designed to display messages from product makers and service suppliers. The advertising people charged fees and commissions for this service. The digital revolution made them very happy; more opportunities for billable service. Profits grew exponentially. Alas, what the profit margins giveth, the digital gods taketh away and the advertising people are having a bit of a mid-life crisis.
A notable force in the rise of the World Wide Web has been its facility to engage people. Part of that is due to the ubiquity of internet and now mobile access. But people also just like to share their thoughts, personal and otherwise, and those of others in a rather non-binding way. Anybody can have a blog, website or pages on social media portals and invite others to their world, except in China and a few other places. Some of these are silly, some serious, a few actually become famous and make money. All of this could be coming to an end.
If disruption is the key to success, these are the best of times. Nothing is as it was a year ago, even five minutes ago. Blame social media. Blame the web. Blame the moon. But all that lovely disruption comes at a price. No worries: inflation will reduce the risk.
Digital technology is unforgiving. Ones and zeros. Digital technology business is ruthless. The ones take all, no sharing. The zeros leave no trace, filtered out. Woe be onto those who expect a different outcome.
This is a story about a card game, high stakes. There is no better analogy for todayís media sphere. When the stakes are low, the game can be fun. Raise the stakes and it gets very serious. We have wild cards, poker faces, good hands and bad hands. We play the cards were dealt and the house always wins.
Disruptive as it has been, the digital dividend keeps on giving. Ideas have sprung forth like the gentle blossoms of spring. Some are more like weeds, growing wildly in unwanted places. All have been nurtured on a natural attraction to novelty and, of course, money. The response has been beyond the wildest dreams of the wildest dreamers.
New media technologies have performed miracles before our eyes. Pictures, stories, words and sounds are delivered to billions with ease unimaginable just a few moments ago. Information, content or spam, all of it streams ever faster, bigger, brighter and louder. None of this is a miracle; no need to call the Vatican. Itís just physics.
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Media's transition from analogue to digital has opened opportunities and unleashed challenges beyond the imagination. Media is connected and mobile yet fettered by old rules and new economics. Broadcasters and publishers borrow from the past while inventing whole new services. This ftm Knowledge file explores the changes. 88 pages PDF (March 2012)
The Happy Advertising People
The advertising people are spending again. But things are different now and media people are feeling it. New media attracts attention and advertisers want to be where the action is. This ftm Knowledge file looks at the paradox of media and advertising. 120 pages PDF (September 2011)
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