From John Audette @ adventive
"Intrusive advertising -- it's time for that model to die...
Internet advertising will never work until advertisers stop trying
to manipulate us -- and start respecting our intelligence instead."
I like the ideal, are there any companies out there stiving for it? Any that come close to attaining it? Are we headed toward this or will advertisers and markters continue to go the manipulation/spam route?
Actually I think internet marketing is more about respect than other forms of marketing.
We get a chance to show our stuff, to provide content, to share resources and all in more than a 30 second tv or radio spot so I guess I beg to differ.
When the SE's stop demanding (through their algorithms) that webmasters stop using (or overusing) keywords in order to attain ranking ... it will be a perfect world!
If somebody would kindly supply the algorithm which will produce results based on relevancy of a search term ... without "spammy" keywords or manipulations which have so offended John Audette, who made the statement:
>Internet advertising will never work until advertisers stop trying to manipulate us -- and start respecting our intelligence instead."<
After 28 years in advertising and sales, it is (still) my belief that it is the advertiser's JOB to manipulate!!! What a naive statement on the part of Mr. Audette!
When talking about the Internet, it is NOT the advertisers but the medium, which requires and sets the standards to which advertisers must conform or risk the very real possibility of never being found at all.
Without algorithms based on keyword content and "perhaps" link popularity, and various other elements ... how else can the internet work? Come up with an easy answer for that question and you will be a billionaire overnight!
John Audette might do well to curl up in front of the fire some night and re-read his copy of "Eutopianistic Theories" and try to figure out why the world isn't (and never will be) perfect.
Perhaps, the Internet should be a very big "yellow pages" with millions upon millions of listings, categorized alphabetically and indistinguishable from one another in any given category. Would this be a fair enough solution for Mr. Audette?
Blanket statements (without substance or thought) such as Mr. Audette's just tick me off! Sorry for the rant ... I had a bad day.
Could you perhaps provide a little more context for that quote? As Liane seems to have applied it to search engines specifically. I can see advertising pushing the boundaries with popup ads (the worse kind of ads I believe) and in some cases just plain stubborn refusal to understand that a web surfer doesn't really want to join ever site in existence just to view a few pages. And as a last bit of "bad advertising", might be off center...but it does deal with privacy issues. Sharing email addresses is the last move to ever make on their part if they want return visits. So on that front, yes, they need to leave people alone. Being aggressive with SEs is another matter completely.
And further off that, I personally believe there will be a shakeout as more and more sites pop up and those companies spending the advertising $$ realize that the existing models don't work. And the WWW is not a gold mine but another ave.of approach and that they can build solid customer bases that use the web. But they have to work with that base else it's all for nothing.
"After 28 years in advertising and sales, it is (still) my belief that it is the advertiser's JOB to manipulate!!! What a naive statement on the part of Mr. Audette!"
Or a very cynical view by you Liane?
Perhaps this occured in your last 18 years and is therefore in front of me :-)
It is my belief is it is the advertisers role to communicate, persuade, inform, entice, flirt and perhaps as was recently suggested in a newsletter to seduce.
The word manipulation can have a benign meaning but for me and I think many people it can also embody lies, deceit, distortion of the facts, bad propoganda etc the sort of which thinking people have seen through (from all sides) for example in recent and ongoing conflicts and which only serves to illustrate the shallowness and deceit of key participants.
imho people dont like to be manipulated .... :-) I mean of course in the intellectual sense...
>> The word manipulation can have a benign meaning but for me and I think many people it can also embody lies, deceit, distortion of the facts, bad propoganda
True, but the salesmans job is to get someone to do something (buy your product/service) that they would not otherwise do.
Thats manipulation. It may be from the highest of motives, because of course YOUR product is better than anyone elses ;)
There are many examples of sales of products rising dramatically after a good ad campaign. Has the product improved? Not usually. Awareness has been raised, and desire created : manipulation of peoples perceptions.
You can call it something "nicer" if you want, but its still really manipulation. Just bear in mind that despite the connotations, its not necessarily a bad thing
Liane is right
Dress it up how you will, advertising and marketing is manipulation.
So is management
All human relationships involve it one degree or another.
Sure, you can do it ethically (by whose standards?) or you can go fo the throat.
But lets not pretend that it is not manipulation.
In fact, I would say it is brave of him to make that statement.
Folk with more time to waste than I, might go back through his track record looking for any sign of hypocrisy in his statement:)
"the salesmans job is to get someone to do something (buy your product/service) that they would not otherwise do."
Not otherwise do? what .. if the salesman had not courted them, persuaded them, informed them ..
There is no way that any salesman in the world is going to persuade me right now to buy a Land Rover, a new house, Airline tickets to Bogota or any other product right now that I am not looking to buy. All they could do, if I allowed them, is try to catch my attention and or inform me about their alternatives.
Most people get pretty iritated if they feel they have been misled (which is a word that comes to my mind where the word manipulation is used) if they sold a pup etc, why do you think the argument about spam and keyword abuse rages... if you do manipulate your customers you had better still ensure they are satisfied or yours will be a transaction perhaps leading to badmouthing or litigation rather than a beautiful ongoing relationship.
"There are many examples of sales of products rising dramatically after a good ad campaign."
Informing ... communicating, as you say creating awareness.
Sure where peoples perceptions are concerned there is a manipulation happenning of sorts, no question.
But have important misleading manipulative claims been made about measurable utility or performance? .. in consumer areas there are loads of misleading perceptions created which cannot really be challenged legally..
1) I want to mountain bike and water ski .. better get some (intimate female personal care products because women can after using these :-)
2) be happy in with the crowd / cool .. drink (insert name of sweet fizzy drink here) ...
"Folk with more time to waste than I, might go back through his track record looking for any sign of hypocrisy in his statement"
Hey don't bother you would find plenty :-)
I only rose to the bait word "manipulate" not hypocracy!! but it applies to website promotion, some of the most searched for phrases in recent months were "online games" and variations on "sex". If you tried to get hits from SE's based on those keywords when you had nothing of value to people interested in these areas you would be misleading them and unless there was significant cross selling reasons you might likely reduce any conversion rates.
Here's a real life scenario for you. Go to a mid to small town chamber of commerce meeting and blurt out "search engine optimization". See the blank stares. At this moment less than 10% know what you are talking about, so therefore they don't feel a "need" for the service. As a salesman, I inform them of the benefits and what it is. Now there is a need. And they've been manipulated into a new awareness. Not bad just real world.
I hate sites that look like a used car lot. Big bold red letters with everything on special. There are markets where this works, and works well (muscle building supplements is one). When your market is flooded with competitors you have to do something different that makes you stand out. An obnoxious car ad on the radio comes to mind. I hate his ads but I know where is store is and what brand of car he sells when all the others are just a blur. But this is not the marketing techniques I would use when selling a product to a group that fits in the top 10% in IQ and wealth. Or when selling to women as they tend to avoid the over abrassiveness.
"they've been manipulated into a new awareness. Not bad just real world."
"dwedeking" this is really only semantics.
I would say you simply informed them of your offering about which they had before been unaware.
You might have manipulated them if: you were selling them something you could not deliver which they bought but did not then meet their expectations.
>> "There are many examples of sales of products rising dramatically after a good ad campaign."
>> Informing ... communicating, as you say creating awareness.
Classic example is the Levis jeans campaigns (with Brooke Shields for the blokes, and Nick Kamen for the ladies - I'm sure most of us remember them)
Sales rose something like 500% due to those campaigns. Were people unaware of jeans before? No
Were people unaware of the Levis brand before? Mostly no
Did the ads add to the sum total of the publics knowledge of denim as a fabric, its qualities and benefits? No
Did they brainwwash lots of people into thinking "Wow, jeans are cool"? Yes
I know thats a fairly extreme example, but it shows the principle. Ads were used to manipulate people into buying a product that they didnt need (no-one ever died from a denim deficiency), and didn't previously want.
Now, I'm hardly suggesting that Levis were creating false expectations, or misleading people... but I think they did undeniably manipulate the public into buying their products. Thats not a bad thing, but they did it
Before the ads, people bought other clothes. Now they bought Levis. The functional difference is negligible, but by applying good advertising techniques, Levis changed the mass purchasing behaviour of the buying public all over the world.
>> All they could do, if I allowed them, is try to catch my attention and or inform me about their alternatives.
When a really good salesman has your attention, save yourself some time and reach for your wallet. You ARE going to buy.
Pehaps we should relate back to the original topic a bit also. The spam e-mail/advertising model works on the basis that if you get your message in front of enough people, although only a vanishingly small %age will buy, lots and lots X v small %age = enough purchases to make money
I think the reason that the model doesn't work well on the Internet is that you can quickly and easily find many other choices. If that spam offer doesn't appeal to you right that second you dump it. Later when you are looking for that product, you don't go back to the spam, you look elsewhere for someone who offers exactly what you are after
"Classic example is the Levis jeans campaigns (with Brooke Shields for the blokes, and Nick Kamen for the ladies - I'm sure most of us remember them)"
Indeed a classic campaign... hey I do not want to make more about this manipulation word than it deserves, it is not very relevant to website advertising.
(edited by: NFFC at 11:08 pm (gmt) on Dec. 6, 2001)