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NONE: ONLINE-ADS>> Re: Modem Media's Proposed New Ad Model

ONLINE-ADS>> Re: Modem Media's Proposed New Ad Model

John R. Fess (john_at_poweragent.com)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 14:57:44 -0700

In regards to:

>>If you are in favor of paying for advertising solely based on activity at
>>the advertiser's site, copy this sentence in your post and explain why.

jeff diehl wrote (in two separate messages on Tue, 24 Sep 1996):

>This is just the next step in the trend toward accountability that is
>demanded when technology allows it.

Don't confuse what you perceive as a "trend toward accountability" with
good, old fashioned, market forces. Market forces will dictate who pays
for what, when they pay, and how. To be sure, technology causes
discontinuities in the balance of power between buyers and sellers but
technology and accountability are entirely separate issues. New technology
offers a wider range of _how_ you might go about delivering what you have
promised to deliver but it doesn't alter the fact that you have promised to
deliver something and you won't get paid until you do.

>I don't know that there is a valid argument against it. When a site claims
>to be an effective ad medium, advertisers can now say, "prove it."

How about this:

If a site sells you space and you agree to buy it, then you pay for space
-- regardless of what you do with it -- very simple.

If a site claims to represent a certain class of audience to go along with
that space and they deliver it, you pay for it.

If a site promises that an advertiser's ad will "perform" or that sales
will result from the ad, that's their business but IMHO, they are either
naive, desperate, or clairvoyant.

As Jim points out, and I agree, new tools appearing on the web make it
possible to more precisely measure the resultant effects of an ad
impression and, as a result, make more types of "deals" possible. But just
because more types of deals are now possible doesn't make one type of deal
"better" than another. That is entirely up to the particular situation
facing each buyer/seller pair.

>The fact is, ads are much more effective on the Web,
>and the numbers are there to back it up.

Please refer me to these numbers.

>There is an added burden placed on host websites, which is, to assess the
>viability of the advertiser's product and the design of its website.

That certainly would be an added burden -- to hire a consulting firm to
determine whether the advertiser's product is going to succeed before
accepting an ad placement! That will really perk up advertising revenues
on the web! :)

>I can't help but see this as a stale, old-media response to the latest
>trend toward ad media accountability on the Web. The example of the
>newspaper the author uses drives this home blatantly. You can't use the
>principles of newspaper advertising to make demands on the Web marketing
>industry.

The ability to track the effectiveness of ads from placement to purchase on
an individual level has been around for at least 15 years. It is called
"database marketing." These are not new concepts. The web does
threaten/promise to drive a lot of intermediaries out of business and
create a whole new set of intermediaries on the way to enabling true 1:1
marketing, but there are no new priciples here.

>The point is, it's everyone's responsibility to "build good Web" and guide
>users to the information they seek.

Perhaps it is in everyone's _interest_ to "build good Web" but certainly
not everyone's responsibility. And "good" is going to mean different
things to different people so, coming full circle, market forces take over
and ultimately decide who wins ("good?" hmmm) and who loses ("bad?" hmmm).

I hope advertisers are very creative in trying to extract everything they
can out of sites and that sites are very creative in trying to extract
everything they can out of advertisers. More and better technology, which
is certain to cause more discontinuities, will simply lead to greater
opportunity for creativity on both sides and that, IMHO, _is_ "good."

John Fess

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