Friday, 8 March 2013

Are you doing anything about Swinging back the web clutter?

Last summer, Starcom released a major study on internet clutter finding that the more ads on a page, the more click-through rates, brand impact and product consideration decline. Jeff Marshall, senior VP-director of the firm's online arm, said since the dot-com bubble burst, many sites have cleaned themselves up. But "not everybody's moved that way. ... We may see that pendulum switch back toward clutter."

And then there's mobile marketing, where perhaps the greatest risk lies for a new avalanche of commercial content. Though hailed as one of the ad business' great growth areas, it hasn't really taken off, partly because the jury's still out on just how receptive consumers are to commercial messaging on their phones. One commenter from New York City gave this no-duh perspective: "The cellphone is way to [sic] personal to be considered another advert medium. If companies start slamming people with messages, people will be turned off."

In the end, permission marketing may be advertisers' best bet for gaining acceptance in emerging media that don't come with social contracts of the kind that's governed, say, the TV business for so long -- that is, viewers' tacit willingness to put up with ads since that revenue's underwriting the programming they enjoy.

"Anytime there's a new destination for people, like YouTube or mobile phones, the assumption is we've got to find a way to put some ads there," Mr. Barocci said. "That's just going to make things worse because there's no social contract. If mobile-phone companies say, 'We'll reduce your bill if you accept ads,' then that's a contract and that's smart."

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