Is Online Advertising Overrated?

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This was the (debate) topic for the last two WebClub meetings. While I haven't been there, the subject got so much coverage by the blogs that it caught my attention. And just to wet your taste here are a couple of quotes:

Pe de o parte se discută despre "eficiența" mediului online, pe de alta despre susținerea acestuia în lupta cu... aici nu prea înțeleg unde este dușmanul.

Ciprian Stavar

Am fost socat (acesta este cuvantul) de faptul ca oamenii din online sustineau faptul ca online-ul nu este eficient.

Mihai Dragan

At this point I've remembered a topic I've asked my Twitter friends about:

Can anyone explain how TV rating points are measured? I'm wondering why is it considered a more reliable stat than what is used on web


I always wondered about that. IMO if they're not recording what runs on ca 70% of all TV sets the stats are unreliable.


using "peoplemeters", meaning electrical devices statistically&relevant delivered or using questionnaires... not reliable at all.


TV is a traditional media and people/ brands are used to it, internet is new.....still in RO (in 140 characters this sums it up)

[...], but they have faith in this media tool because they are used to buy at CPP and don't understand the CPC's precision

only such a person can say that TV rating points are more "reliable" than web stats

Raluca Goia

Let's also take a look at Google has to say about TV vs web

What if the ads we saw when watching TV were always just what we wanted to see? Well, we believe it is possible to make TV ads more relevant to viewers and to deliver more value to advertisers.
Television is becoming more like the web. Just as users click with their mouse to choose what's most relevant to them on the web, viewers send signals about what they want to see on television with clicks of the remote control.

The Official Google Blog

What about classic media?

Advertisers love data almost as much as Google does. They think it tells them where to spend their money and the return on investment they get. For decades, advertisers accepted dubious measurements of magazine readership (which assume that every allegedly well-worn copy is passed around to large groups) and broadcast audiences. Then along came the most measurable medium in history, the internet, where advertisers can learn about customers than ever before. (nb: my underline)

Rishad Tobaccowala quoted in What Would Google Do?

or quoting Eric Schmidt about Google advertising initiatives in radio and print:

In both cases they didn’t work well enough. We measure our businesses very, very carefully and in both the print and the radio businesses we could not seem to invent or get enough of a signal back to make the network or value really spin – that’s one way to describe it. In our model what happens is as people click on ads and as they use our services we get all sorts of ways to improve our products. And with all that customer feedback we can make it better. But because of the unique structure of radio where it’s a broadcast to a relatively unidentifiable radio, there’s not very much information of what the radio is doing, and similarly for print ads, we could not get that signal. And that’s, ultimately, I think why we have moved on. interview with Erich Schmidt

Then, you might think that Ionut is right:

[...] e posibil ca motivul pentru care internetul nu obtine un procent mai mare din bugete sa fie unul mult mai simplu. Nu neaparat eficienta, inteleasa sau nu, satisfacatoare sau nu, nu neaparat raspunsurile directe si performanta, ci ceva mult mai simplu: depasirea sau nu a asteptarilor clientilor.

Ionut Oprea (aka clickio)

But when you see what the romanian online is up to: here and here (the only thing I can think of when seeing these is that they are completely disconsidering their main clients: the readers), you'll probably reach the same conclusion as Vali, while they should probably spend some time thinking about what Dragos Novac is saying or Dragos Manac was writing the other day or Seth Godin's advise.

La noi, lucrurile au ramas in stadiul de portal. Bagam banii doar in alea, ca sigur acolo e publicul nostru. Altfel, de ce ar veni 100.000 de oameni pe portalul X?

Vali Petcu

In case you have two hours, thanks to Costin, you can watch both meetings in full: