Online Advertising in 2009

For many industries, things are going to get worse in  the first half of 2009, but that might not be all bad. Companies will have to get leaner and meaner which could mean more competition and subsequently more innovation and maybe some better prices.  Getting leaner means controlling cash flow and one of the areas that will see the largest paradigm shift is advertising. Many business owners that we have met recently are finding it difficult to justify bloated budgets for traditional print, radio, and television advertising in these uncertain economic times.

One of the questions that we get most often is, “How can I get my message to my target as cheaply as possible?”.  We typically have to answer the question by asking a series of questions designed to figure out what they are looking for, who are they targeting, and, of course, what is their budget. The answers to these questions will dictate a plan of action that will most likely involve online advertising. Some form of advertising will always be needed to reach target audiences, but the smart money is advertising online. Why? Because it is rapid, measurable, and affordable. Shifting dollars from traditional ad budgets to online advertising is like taking dollars to Mexico ten years ago; you would have some serious purchasing power.

Does this mean that print, radio, and TV are dead? Far from it, but they are changing. Google has made a foray into traditional advertising by creating the infrastructure for ad creation and campaign management right in your Google Adwords account. Take , for example Google TV ads. Using the same Adwords interface that you use for your pay-per-click campaign you can schedule a TV ad to run literally within minutes. Using the Google Ad Creation marketplace you can request bids on your project from Specialists in Production, Script Writing, Video Editing, and Voiceovers. These are powerful tools that simply were not available to small business owners before, and can be used to reduce advertising costs and make companies more competitive.

Good Luck!

Read Charles Hugh Smith’s article The Web Dismantles Old Media.

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