Fred Wilson adds his thoughts to the conversation about a more intelligent way to target blog and social media advertising. His idea plays right into the ideas I discussed yesterday, ideas that emphasize that a new and successful advertising strategy can be dictated by content creators and bloggers by basing advertising rates on the level of interaction that an audience has with a post.
Where the model I proposed is one that is based on community and conversation, Fred sees an opportunityfor fims that can effectively inject advertising and marketing directly into the conversation, not added on as an afterthought.
Today's conversations take place in the streams of Twitter and FriendFeed, and are solidly founded on the ideas of community and conversation. They are spontaneous, unpredictable. Marketing into the stream requires a level of conversational intelligence that doesn't exist in contextual advertising. It is not simply the words on the screen, it is how those ads are being used.
For example, there is no sense trying to advertise a product on a page or in a conversation that is actively engaged in discussing the flaws and failings of that product. It makes an advertiser look cold, insensitive, and even ridiculous.
In his post, Fred presents examples of subtle, targeted advertising that appears in the streams of an existing conversation without redirecting or changing the conversation. As a VC, he recognizes the opportunity in this area.
Community and conversation focused marketing is potentially huge and likely very effective, if done in a way that does not drive people to filter their content to prevent such advertising. The advertisers will also have to adopt a clear code of behavior that prevents them from being seen as anything more than new-age spammers.
Why will it be more effective? It plays right to the marketers sweet spot: an engaged group, with a focused interest, creating a conversation in a shared community.
If that doesn't set of the buzzword bingo alarms, nothing will.
It is, however, also true. And the interest in this new model of advertising is solely drive by one idea: attention. I have commented on the attention economy previously, and I stick to my guns that a post, a conversation, a community that holds a person's attention in today's world of media and information saturation is one that needs to be explored by marketers.
Rob Crumpler and the team at BuzzLogic announced their conversation ad service yesterday (September 18 2008). This is likely the first move in this exciting new area. And Fred and his team at Union Square recognize the potential in this area.