Blogs: NOT a proper advertisement channel

Pinned — Forrester Research released a US online advertising and marketing forecast yesterday. The press release features the following inanity:

New advertising channels will draw interest and spending from marketers. Sixty-four percent of respondents are interested in advertising on blogs, 57 percent through RSS and 52 percent on mobile devices, including phones and PDAs.

I’ve yet to understand what makes a blog an advertising channel. Mobile devices are arguably an advertising channel. So are television networks and the world wide web. RSS, perhaps… But blogs…

Blogs are just another kind of web site with a specific format. They’re just date descending ordered logs of posts. Some blogs have traffic. Most don’t. Some are well written. Most aren’t. Some feature high quality information. Most are rumor mills. Most let users comment. Some don’t.

This blog, namely, is a low traffic (around 90,000 page views since I started it 3 months ago), ill written (French being my native language) rumor mill (well, OK, it’s about rumor bashing, but that makes it a rumor mill nevertheless).

In any event, blogs are just another kind of web site rather than an entirely separate distribution channel. The blogosphere is arguably a distributed — and impractical — conversation system. But the idea blogs are something special is an insignificant hay fire.

Via Steve Rubel.

Comments on Blogs: NOT a proper advertisement channel

  1. I’ve yet to understand what makes a blog an advertising channel.

    What makes blogs, such as this fine weblog, a channel for advertising is that you are viewed as an opinion-maker by the media and advertisers. People are here to read what you write. Writing sometimes, by it’s very nature, becomes fact in people’s sub-conscious once it’s in print. They view you as a trend setter, an early adopter and a influential member of your circle of friends, co-workers, and family. Therefore, anything that you advertise, could influence that same circle to buy those goods or services.

  2. Having a telecom background, I understand a channel as means of delivering an information. Whereas, based on the comments I read on two blogs which mentionned this page, I’d say the marketers’ idea of a channel is in fact an audience.

    Now, presumably, the audience that reads blogs is different from the audience that reads newspaper sites. Arguably, there is a microcosmos around bloggers (friends, co-workers, family). And certainly, you’re much more influential on your closer relatives than you are on other people. Thus, it makes perfect sense to advertise on a blog.

    Nonetheless, I find the press release’s invitation to think advertising on blogs is inherently different from advertising on other web sites troubling: Online advertisement remains one to one marketing on all web sites, blogs or otherwise. Meaning that the distribution channel is the generic web site (or internet), rather than blogs.

    The research’s question is akin to asking a series of questions like:

    – Do you plan to advertise on billboards?
    – Do you plan to advertise on billboards near bus stops?
    – Do you plan to advertise on billboards in city dumps?

    Odds are strong an offline advertiser will say yes, yes, no. Unless his target audience happens to delve in city dumps. Online marketing allows you to display your ad on _all_ billboards at once, regardless of their location, and to make the contents of the billboard differ based on the individual who is watching.

    > Writing sometimes, by it’s very nature, becomes fact in people’s sub-conscious once it’s in print.

    Actually, I would suggest that the subconscious of individuals and groups is nothing _but_ ‘print’, with ‘print’ to be understood here as anything an individual or a group makes public in an environment which expects a consistent behavior thereafter.

  3. I’d say the marketers’ idea of a channel is in fact an audience.

    I totally agree, not to get hung up on nomenclature, they really don’t understand these microcosms as they relate to an audiance or, as potential channels if grouped together.

    What the press release doesn’t mention is the real reason for this enormous land grab in the weblog “channel.” Which is how seldom people in the 45 and under demographic take news from printed newspaper publications anymore.

    In fact, it’s looking pretty grim in the other marketplaces they’ve depended upon so much. Television delivery is changing quickly. PVR’s, On-Demand, and Bittorrent are scaring the pants off of them. Radio is coming, with personal audio devices (ipods), satellite radio and digital radio (it’s a matter of time until commercial skipping devices show up there)… you get the idea.

    80% of the worlds entire marketing budget is represented by, what 2% of the advertising agencies? 5%? They don’t get it… they don’t get the whole weblog thing yet or, for that matter the entire concept of self and community-generated content (weblogs, forums, chat spaces, etc…). There are people that do get it and they are selling themselves to those 2-5% of those agencies for a lot of money.

    Anyway, as a content producer… you’re on the forefront of what I believe is a huge paradigm shift for advertisers. I hope, someday, that your +30k visitors a month will be worth a tidy litte sum to advertisers. I hope that you can someday fund a car payment with it… and not a cup of coffee once a month, if you use what is available now (BlogAds/AdSense). Because little local newspapers can fund a whole team of writers and pay rent on an office and pay people to distribute their stuff, and not have circulation numbers anywhere near yours.