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Why Online Advertising Works
(April 12, 2001) A friend, who has the capacity to buy companies in this market, took last week off for a well deserved vacation. On his return, he found thirty offerings for companies that were willing to sell themselves for pennies on the dollar. Like a number of recent failures, the offer was often "take over our liabilities, we'll give you the company." The pile included lots of names you'd never recognize.

It's not really all that surprising. The internet revolution inspired the founding of a lot of companies with the bizarre idea that marketing and advertising were distant second cousins to the supposedly more important technical innovations. But, when our friend leafs through his pile of opportunity, which does he open first? Why the ones he's heard of, of course.

The folks who don't get a second of his attention are the players who think that branding is an unimportant component of building a business. Like many of the early pioneers in the industry, they believed the Wayne's World mantra: If you build it they will come.

Small companies, competing for talent in the ever tightening labor supply face the same problem. People just won't come to work for you if they don't know who you are. The really ironic thing, from our perspective, is the huge number of companies who claim to be able to help with this Employment Branding question who don't advertise themselves. These are the companies that occupy the bottom of our friend's pile. In this market, demonstrating your ability to develop a targeted brand is a required merit badge.

So, how do you get your company's name out in front of the right audience?

If you claim to be in an online business with customers who are also online, you need to advertise online. Unlike conventional print and television advertising, online advertising simultaneously delivers brand awareness and the opportunity to sell. That means that there are always four components of any online ad:
  1. The ad (button, banner or other tool) itself (the ad);
  2. The media outlet that features the ad (the property)
  3. The page that the ad points to (the link); and
  4. The content of the page (the sell)
For branding purposes, all that is important is the ad and the property. The ad must convey the image you want for your company in a way that stands out against the background of other ads and the content on the property. In highly effective branding campaigns, consistency is the buzzword. The property is selected by identifying websites that are likely to attract your desired audience. If you are trying to reach investors and decision makers, you might try this page. If you are trying to reach entry level recruiters, you might try another.

The general rule of thumb is that it takes at least seven "impressions" (or viewings of an ad by a single individual) to actually register the name in their mind. It can take up to a dozen to prompt buying behavior.

If you don't sell an online service or are not trying to recruit online, you do not need to advertise online. But, if you are in the online business, part of the core credibility your company needs is the demonstrated ability to use online advertising.

Online advertising works because it reaches the online audience in their medium.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 interbiznet.
All Rights Reserved.

Materials written
by John Sumser
© TwoColorHat.
All Rights Reserved.

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