Demographics Don’t Matter

Of course, for traditional media, demographics are extremely important. If you want to reach a particular kind of audience through TV ads, for example, you need to pick programs that are watched by a sufficiently large group of your audience of likely consumers (probably not advertising Flomax on the Cartoon Network, for instance.)

New media, particularly podcasts, blogs and vlogs, are different entirely. Here’s why:

Search. With over 80 percent of internet users using search engines (scores of millions of users, if not more than 100 million) to find what they need on the web, if your content is out there and searchable, many of your potential customers will find it, wherever you are housing the video or audio files.

In other words, it doesn’t matter if a particular niche within the web is mostly inhabited by people outside your target demographic. For example, if YouTube’s audience is mostly younger, and your target audience is mostly older, that doesn’t stop your audience from finding your content…particularly if you have included it within your own web site or blog.

You can take advantage of the free service to add your video clip to the 100 million or more in the YouTube inventory. The teenagers won’t be looking for it and won’t find it. But by embedding it in your web site or blog and tagging appropriately, people who are looking for your kind of product or service can find it. And since you paid nothing (beyond the time to upload the clip) to add it, your cost per thousand impressions is….? And how does that compare to the TV ad?

The audience may not be large enough to carry your business, and you may still need to use traditional media, too. But if you’re paying for TV, why would you not take advantage of distribution that is essentially free? Especially since those people who have searched for a term that leads them to your content are likely your best potential customers?

New Media Growth. With 67 million iPods sold to date (and likely another 20-25 million hard-drive based mp3 players of all other brands), the audience is getting sufficiently large that it can’t be just the teenagers anymore. And of course the files can be played or viewed on computers as well, which makes for an even broader audience.

For media that are walled off from the broader internet (e.g. cell phones and cable VOD), my first point above is less relevant. You still need to consider the audience for that channel and whether it is large enough and has enough of “your” kind of people to be viable.

I discussed the underlying concept of the Economics of Abundance and linked to some other relevant articles here.

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Non-Annoying Web Video Ad

An oxymoron like congressional ethics, pretty ugly, criminal justice, only choice, original copy or jumbo shrimp?

No, I discovered it when I was reading Janet Johnson’s article on “type-ins.” I clicked through to the CNNMoney article she referenced, and up came the story, complete with one of the Apple computer personification ads with the sound turned off. It gives the opportunity to click to hear the sound, but otherwise it’s just another graphic on the page.

I’ve seen reports that video advertising is going to be big, but I didn’t know how it could work and not do more damage than good. Rule #1 is not to annoy your potential customers. I’ve seen some sites where the video launches automatically, and it can be jarring and annoying when the car dealer’s commercial comes blaring through.

If the ads are visually distinctive as this one is, I can see this might be a way to have a successful and non-annoying web video advertising campaign that isn’t purely viral.

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‘Type-Ins’ Tipping Point?

Janet Johnson, formerly of Marqui, is back in the blogosphere with a newly designed site and an interesting post on the phenomenon of direct navigation, in which users guess at a URL instead of using Google, Yahoo, Ask or another search engine.

Her advice is that if you are using Google’s AdWords service to buy pay-per-click ads on a term like, for example, Rochester MN jeweler, you should consider buying the domain name That is, if the search term you are buying in AdWords isn’t too obscure.

You can read Janet’s thoughtful analysis here.

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Click-Fraud: Worse than TiVo?

The Post has another article about click fraud and how some internet advertisers are attempting to band together to fight back:

In the past year, industry analysts say, new forms of click fraud have emerged from the shadows of masked operations into plain view on the Internet. Dozens of Web sites offer to pay people to sit and click on ads, or to type certain words into search engines for hours at a time. Some sites have forums where people swap click-fraud tips.

Advertisers, who often pay for online ads only when someone clicks on them, have been crying foul and complaining to federal regulators. They’ve also sued the Internet’s largest ad networks, Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., which earlier this year settled class-action lawsuits by advertisers.

A new lawsuit was filed last month in Pennsylvania seeking class-action status against Google. The FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating click fraud.

On-line advertising is gaining phenomenally because the results supposedly have been better than those for the 30-second spot. I wonder how the problem of click fraud compares with the problem of people skipping the commercials when they use TiVo or another DVR.


It’s a different kind of issue, but the same effect: paying for an audience that isn’t seeing the ad. Click fraud is malevolent and deceptive, more like a RICO activity. TiVoing is just an individual’s decision to fast-forward through the commercial.

With click fraud, the advertisers lose because they may be paying a dime for each click (although the price varies depending on the demand for the search term). The person doing the clicking loses too, because at half a penny a click, if they can click on 10 ads a minute (waiting for the sites to refresh so they can click again), that’s a nickel a minute or $3 an hour. Google and Yahoo (and the web sites that receive the fraudulent traffic, and whose owners must be behind the click-fraud rings) are the winners.

Still, I wonder which is the bigger economic problem for advertisers: skipping broadcast ads or fake clicks on web ads?

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