Extra Post #6 – “Why Advertising is Failing on the Internet”

Back in March, I posted a very interesting article on the class Delicious link, Why Advertising is Failing on the Internet.”  As we learned in the Cluetrain Manifesto, the first thesis dictates that “markets are conversations.”  The typical push-advertising, similar to online, does not embrace the theory of a conversation.  First, let’s define advertising..

“Paid form of a nonpersonal message communicated through the various media by industry, business firms, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. Advertising is persuasive and informational and is designed to influence the purchasing behavior and/or thought patterns of the audience. Advertising is a marketing tool and may be used in combination with other marketing tools, such as sales promotions, personal selling tactics, or publicity.”  –Answers.com

A few words are very indicative of today’s digital environment.  “Non-personal message,” “persuasive,” “influence,” “marketing tool,” and “selling tactics” are all words that today’s online user is immune to – and to a certain extent runs from.  Today’s consumer is looking for the underdog, the feel-good story that seems like the first of its kind and that they can relate to.  How can “Joe the Plumber” relate to a filthy-rich supermodel as a company’s spokesperson?  Sorry about that analogy…

A few other interesting statistics…



Why this incredible discrepancy between ads being noticed, and ads being deemed as ‘relevant?’  For one, according to Clemons, “consumers do not trust advertising.”  In fact, only 16% of consumers trust the information contained within a company’s blog.


In addition to the “trust” factor, it stands to reason that consumers just don’t want to view advertising.  Take for example the explosion of TiVo.  TiVo gives consumers the ability to record their television shows and view later – all while skipping commercials.  Why?  Customers no longer want to be screamed at to buy a company’s products.   But, rather, they want to join the conversation, and in turn, tell you, the company, what they think.  Just look at the statistics…


It all goes back to getting involved in the online conversation.  Scoble tells us this in Naked Conversations, that “if you choose to join the conversation, your company will be better for it, and your customers will be happier.”  It’s all about transparency…remember that word?  I think someone else’s mantra is just that.  Just look what transparency did for him…


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