Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pondering advertising

One of my personal favorite posts talks about the process of making money, which I think is about what other people want, and key in that process is letting them know you can give it. Which is where I think advertising naturally fits.

That is, if you have something that you know people might want, like a great new something, you need to let them know you have it. But how?

In the future I think most advertising will be targeted to people who actually may want that something which gets into all kinds of important things like privacy, as how do you know they may want it?

But for those who think advertising can go away, just find something they want, and ask them how they found out about it. Maybe a friend advertised it for them, and yup, that's called word-of-mouth advertising, and I thought I'd just link to Wikipedia on the subject like normal. But instead found an article talking about how businesses try to use it.

However, I think few people are concerned about honest word-of-mouth where friends point something out that they like because they actually do like it! And not because some business entity is manipulating them into recommending it.

To me that's like, yeah! Now we can focus on the difference. And to me it's simple: companies try to push things on you to buy because they want you to buy, not necessarily because you want or need something. And they can even try to develop a need, just to sell you something. That can be really irritating.

IN essence, a business entity may just want to use and abuse you for their own profit, and rely on advertising to trick you into buying at their benefit and not your own.

That is despicable behavior.

To me that kind of covers it: your friends can have genuine interest and appropriate knowledge about you, and make a desired recommendation. Even if it IS off you know their intent is good.

But a business can try to exploit you, and trick you into buying something for their benefit, with no real concern or interest in your benefit.

So I conclude that advertising in and of itself is not a bad thing. Without some kind of advertising, how can you know some entity has something you want?

But pushing things on people that they don't want is irritating.

The web can chase a different model though because the scale can be so huge. If you have a product that people in a dozen countries might want and can get from you, then it hardly pays to irritate lots of other people. And is actually kind of hard.

Marketing in the US for instance could be national for lots of products. But marketing to the world is a formidable challenge. It hardly pays even if you could to show an advertisement to lots of people globally who have no interest in buying that something.

My guess is there is a sharp difference between marketing for global products versus local ones where national or smaller is local.

And had to come back and edit and add, as I'm like, but what about web search? And reality is, yeah, it's great if people can search on things they want and get sent to something you have out there saying you have what they want. But what are the odds, really?

Other people have to DO something for you to get there.

It's open source and freely available, so not something for people to buy, but maybe still it's informative that back when I first put my project on SourceForge over a decade ago, it somehow began to appear in thousands of directories. I just put it on SourceForge, sat back, and lots of other people did things like putting it in those directories. And I'm very thankful they did.

So yeah, web search doesn't change the dynamic: to get to a high enough level for web search to get people to that something you have they might want, something has to be done by you, which I'm thinking has to be some kind of advertising to get that something noticed, or done by others, which I'm sure involves some kind of referral.

Been discussing on this blog various ideas about social media based on referral versus what I think are content based ones of today, and that may get closer to friendly referral, and let you punish for what I will call predatory referral.

Interesting. Will ponder further.

James Harris
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