Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Building brands and creating demand – the next challenge online

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The internet works for performance marketing. When someone types in something on a search engine, they are expressing an interest that marketers can capitalize on, say by spending $1.00 on a little sponsored link that pulls someone to a website where that traffic can be converted to a sale for $1.50. That’s called demand fulfillment, and the internet is awesome for it. The challenge is doing the other half of marketing – demand creation. A 30 second TV spot has been one of the best vehicles for this, but it is a declining medium. The only time I personally se TV ads anymore is live sporting events like March Madness, and the entire demographic of 18-30 year old males has also pretty much disappeared from TV and spends all its media time online. So how are marketers going to create demand for their products in the new online world, and successfully do brand advertising?
No one yet really knows. But one way is to try to get people to spend time online with fun little branded content experiences. This is the premise behind what we were doing with Live Seach Club when I was at Microsoft – get people to play a game for 20 minutes and in the process hopefully also learn that Microsoft’s search product was getting pretty good. I saw a similar effort by Ford Focus today on the MSN homepage. MSN, Yahoo, and AOL are some of the very few places on the internet where brand advertisers can reach a broad audience. A simple banner ad on these pages is no good by itself – there is some spotty data that says these impressions create brand awareness and favorability, but it’s nothing like a TV ad where the audience attention is fully captured by the ad. Online, people can ignore the ad and focus on the content, so the ad needs to draw people into a deeper experience.
Now watch me bust my moves.

Written by nealfreeland

March 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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