Posts Tagged ‘banner advertising


Online Advertising’s biggest barrier – cost

One of the biggest reservations I have about online marketing is cost – the entry point for the vast majority of online advertising is too low. Let me explain…

There is a reluctance to use online advertising among many advertisers/marketers, mainly because people look at click through rates as a measure of success, and thus think it is too fruitless an activity to return good ROI. The jury’s still out on how effective online ads are (the last-ad attribution model that most people cite as being proof online ads are dead is fundamentally flawed) but I think there’s a much more distinct reason why we should question what we are doing with online advertising…

When we visit a webpage, we (usually) see all sorts of ads for all sorts of companies, usually served from an ad server platform (in this case, uses Directory M and Emediate for their advertising). Some of the ads we see on sites are from companies we know are reputable businesses. Other ads want to sell us solutions to building a sixpack stomach in 3 weeks. Today, I saw the ad to the right served to me on a fairly reputable website (, advertising a service that preys on people’s fear and will potentially help me kill someone. I won’t include the link to the site it points to, but you can probably find the site if you’ve got your websmarts around you and are curious.

For most businesses, a major barrier to entry to TV (or other mainstream media) advertising is that the costs are too high – smaller businesses – aswell as dodgy, spamming con-men – do not have the sort of money to front up to pay for a TV campaign. However, this lends a certain credibility to TV (and other mainstream) advertising. If a company can cough up the money to advertise on TV, chances are they’re a legitimate business and have at least a half decent product to have gotten so far. For those companies who can’t afford TV, online advertising was meant to be a magic saviour… this creates a completely different kind of price barrier (almost the reverse of the problem which TV faces). Which legitimate business wants to be featured on a website next to the above ad that is advertising maiming and killing? Furthermore, which consumer is going to take your company’s ad seriously if the ad is featured alongside considerably more dodgy one above? In taking ads online, having an ‘ad’ has become much more accessible to a larger number of people, which creates a barrier to entry.

Before I sign off, I’ll include the ‘Enlightened Stupid Marketer’ video I referred to before. … keep in mind ‘Nalts’ is a marketer himself according to his Youtube bio, so take this video with a grain of salt ;D )



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