July 16, 2009

Nasty Little Things Called Facts

(Last week we had a very spirited debate over whether the internet has "changed everything, utterly" as one of my commenters claimed. Obviously, he can't have meant what he said literally. Presumably he still brushes his teeth -- let's hope that hasn't "changed, utterly." I assume what web zealots mean when they make overblown statements like the above is that the web has changed 'everything about marketing and consumer behavior.'

Of course, this too is baloney. Some facts arrived the other day that, once again
, undermine these pompous claims. Before I get to them, let me state for the 100th time that the internet is playing a significant role in our lives and its influence on consumer behavior continues to grow. But we've got to keep our sense of proportion. The overblown claims, the hyperbole, and the out-and-out bullshit that is promulgated by web hustlers needs to be challenged --TAC)

As we learned last week, according to some people the internet has "changed everything, utterly."

As the Grumpy Brit has wonderfully put it, the world of marketing has supposedly been changed by...
"...the advent of the ‘conversation’, the freeing of the captive audience, the ouster of persuasion in favour of ‘engagement’, (and) the rather creepy idea of a ‘relationship’...
A Harris Poll released last week shows something very different:
  • Consumers find tv ads more helpful than any other type of commercial message.
  • They find tv spots more helpful than online banner ads in deciding what products or services to purchase by an astounding margin of 37 to 1.
  • They find tv ads more helpful than search engine ads in deciding what products or services to purchase by a margin of almost 3 to 1.

  • Consumers ignore banner ads almost 4 times as often as tv ads.
  • Consumers ignore search engine ads almost 25% more than tv ads.

Of course, now that facts have been around for awhile undermining the outrageous claims that web hustlers used to make about web advertising, they have changed their tune.

So now they tell us advertising is dead. And marketing is no longer about selling stuff, it's about engagement, and conversations and relationships and whatever other buzz words and false goals they can conjure.

We are already getting some facts to challenge this baloney, too. But don't worry, they'll come up with something else.

Despite all the florid claims of web zealots, Harris draws a very clear and simple conclusion:
"...television ads are the most helpful to consumers."

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