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Re: ::scr Marketing, Spam, Whatever
On 26/10/01 10:53 +0100, simon wistow wrote:
> Jo mentioned textual links being more effective than traditional banner ads,
> presumably because people have become desensitised to banners and also
> because experience dictates that, in general, when you click on a link you get
> information but when you click on a banner you get advertising. The only
> problem i can see is that people will start to associate links with marketing
> instead of information - that you'll be afraid to click on a link in case it
> goes to a brochureware site or something. Although I'm quite itred at the
> moment so I'm probably rambling.
Interestingly, I found this was the case 2 1/2 years ago when I did
a trial buying a bit of advertising on sites like Freeserve, so it's
not a particularly new phenomenon. I think this is a problem (if
it's a problem at all) that is solved simply by cultural context.
By which I mean, we tech-savvy, web-experienced info-junkies are
averse to brochureware sites because (a) we don't like to be overtly
marketed to and (b) they rarely give us the information we need. But
that's okay, because being tech-savvy and web-experienced means we
have a fair amount of experience in spotting a marketing link as
opposed to general information, and we tend to filter accordingly.
Those who are less experienced may click on the links, but will
generally be less averse to them.
A majority of people mentally filter banners because they distract
from the central thrust of what you're doing, and are rarely
directly relevant, despite the best efforts of online ad companies
to develop targetting.
Again interestingly, the first site I built, www.ukpropertyshop.com,
was a simple, single-process thing. You roll up at the site, pick
the area you're looking for a house in, maybe browse the estate
agents' websites which get returned, maybe fill in a form and
register with them all in record time, but beyond that it's
finished. And the site always had massively high clickthroughs from
the pages which marked the end of the process - people used the ads
to navigate away from a site they'd finished with, but not whilst
they were in the midst of doing something else.
> Google gets away with it by sticking their quick links up in a box on the side
> (do they still do that? I've noticed that I haven't noticed any for a while)
No. They do seem to have gone, not that I'd noticed, which may be
the reason they've gone, if you get my meaning.
Classic *bad* posting habit, but whilst composing this, I've come to
the conclusion that it's all about context. You don't notice the
Google side boxes because you're concentrating on the results. You
don't notice banner ads because you're concentrating on the page
content. But marketing games are very successful, because the
marketing is *fun*, and it's the reason you're at the page to start
with. You don't notice you're being marketed to, and therefore don't
put up walls against it.
I guess a similar line of thinking is behind putting up a
full-screen ad before redirecting you to the page you requested, a
la salon - if the only thing on the screen is the advert, you have
to watch it. Personally I think this is "gonzo marketing" of the
highest order. It's antagonistic, interferes with the user
experience rather than enhancing or being that experience, and
certainly isn't going to encourage me to click through, or hang
around on the site.
Then again, I hate my media forcing anything on me. DVD copyright
notices that can't be fast forwarded, and take over a minute to
complete irritate me, as does the whole region encoding thing, and
I'm very wary of TiVO-like devices that won't let you fast forward
the adverts, or record certain items deemed too precious to be
watched outside their scheduled slots.
I know that advertising is the media's lifeblood, and that they need
to sell stuff rather than let everyone copy it willy nilly, but I
can't see that making these things compulsory makes it effective. It
just increases the urge to fight against it.
Unfortunately the entertainment industry seem determined to bludgeon
us into accepting all these curbs on the way we use media and
technology, until we're all passive little goldfish, basking
eternally in the ethereal glow of advertorials.
I think the biggest contribution of the Open Source movement
long-term could be in resolutely providing us with
un-copyright-protected hardware and software, although even those
avenues are already being legally hamstrung by legislation like the
Hmm. I appear to have arrived at the edge of that interesting
"hinternet" discussion we had on (void) a while back.
Simon Batistoni Penseroso Ltd
simon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx +44 20 7242 0570