Social Media/Word-of-mouth advertising/marketing on the web has been a washout:
The Failure of Web Advertising
While the web itself has been a massive success (influencing virtually every aspect of our lives) advertising on the web is mostly a bad joke.
Fifteen years into its mainstream life, television had created scores of powerful consumer-facing brands.
The only truly powerful brands I can think of that web advertising has created are native web brands like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Facebook. It's as if the only brands television was good at creating were CBS, NBC and ABC.
I’ve talked about this for years:
Snake Oil In Cyberspace
Perhaps … it is simply a case of older users being a bit more savvy about marketing ploys, social networking, and the intermixing of the two.
While Dick Stroud might not agree with everything I’ve said so far (or what I’m about to say), he did get me thinking …
Why are marketers so conservative
To me it is as obvious as the nose on your face that smartphones will dominate the mobile market … It is an absolute no brainer. This applies to the older and younger market and all groups in between.
Smartphones could end up dominating more than that. With the exception of the workplace, smartphones (along with iPads and Kindles or something like them) might just make desktops and laptops and the web as we know it obsolete. If ‘being connected’ mostly means communicating with friends, doing simple search, reading the news - then all that’s really needed is a smartphone.
And the more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small screens. (I’m not including digital games– that’s another industry.)
Steve Jobs already knows this:
Thoughts On Flash
Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it.
My advertising/marketing predictions and not-technical-because-I’m-not-a-tech-guy recommendations:
- The visual power of the web will fade as more people use handheld devices. Goodbye, fancy-schmancy web sites. People will get bored sifting through it all when they can find what they need with their smartphones.
- How this will play out, I don’t know – but the ‘web’ needs to be rethought. Accessing a page on a desktop or laptop is not the same as accessing it on a smartphone. There will have to be two separate ‘webs’ for large screens, small screens. People will get very tired very fast clumsily negotiating bulky pages on handheld devices. Usability cannot be ignored. Laptops and Desktops will only be utilized for deep research or visual treats.
- That silly retronym “traditional advertising” will remain the premiere force for introducing people to a product or service, along with sustaining its shelf life. Television, print, radio, and billboard ads will continue to have the visceral power they’ve always had – if only for their sheer size, simplicity, and cutting-edge audio/visual qualities. Advertising on smartphones will be considered an annoyance, invasive, and rather dinky – while marketing/search (coupons on steroids, and more) will flourish and dominate.