Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Targeted online advertising, a thing of the future for some, soon to be the past?

I'm too cheap to buy a subscription to Women's Wear Daily which is upsetting since I'd love to read more on their article titled "Fashion Brands Rush to Web but Not to Advertise." I'd love to know the reason as to why they are choosing to update websites and engage in social media, but not advertise. 

What made me so interested in why they are not jumping on the opportunities for online advertising is reading more updates on the future of online advertising. While online ad spending is increasing (see graph from article), the business of targeted ads has a bleak future. Don't get me wrong... I stand by my targeted campaigns as through mine I've maintained above average click-through rates (CTR), according to results by Eyeblaster's Research Global Benchmark 2010. Alas, the days of targeted ads and the ability to analyze your online advertising media's demographics and traffic through sites like Quantcast may be few and far between as PRIVACY keeps getting called into question. 

A group of industry leaders are pushing to set standards on companies that track user's online habits and behaviors so that the issue is contained without government regulations. The initiative was started last summer with Seven Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. With the goal of the principles to make consumers aware, educate and eventually offer privacy options, I don't see how much progress has been made when as an advertiser--someone with a real investment in this--I'm hardly hearing much on this. Of course as an advertiser I don't want to lose targeting, but as a consumer privacy is important. Regardless of the consumer-advertiser dichotomy, not much has been said or implemented to either party. So, I can only guess the FTC is breathing down the necks of these ad targeting companies and regulation changes are imminent... 

So now I come back to the main question... fashion brands why NOT take advantage of  this successful marketing tool before it is changed (much more so than with advents of technologies)? If that WWD article has the answer to this, please, do share! 

Other sources:

US Online Advertising Spending as a Percent of Total Media Advertising Spending, 2008-2014

To Stem Privacy Abuses, Industry Groups Will Track Web Trackers

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