It has been quite a while since I have taken the hard work of other journalists and aggregated them on the Wpromoter for you and, for that, I am very sorry. Brian Regan, one of my favorite stand up comedians, once joked about how watching fishing on TV was tantamount to being “too lazy to fish.” Well, my being too lazy to put out the Tues News is similarly, legendarily lethargic as I’m not just too lazy to write articles, I’m too lazy to find articles that other people have already written and just tell you about them. That’s pathetic, right?
Without further ado, let’s proceed to the first edition of the Tues News in over two months. This week, I wanted to put the spotlight on the downturn in Internet advertising revenues overall, focusing specifically on different opinions explaining the trend of what seems to be, at best, a sign of the tough economic times and, at worst, a harbinger of the end of online marketing as we know it. Let’s get going:
- In TechCrunch this week, Eric Clemons and his super-long title of “Professor of Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania” announced that “the internet is not replacing advertising but shattering it,” and that we should all be heading for higher ground as the floodwaters of doom rise around our ankles. Normally, a man with such an intimidating sounding job description would send me to Craig’s List looking for a job in a safer industry like high finance or insurance; however, his core argument–that search marketing “misdirects users”–is such a fallacy that I think I’ll stick around at Wpromote for at least a little while longer.
- In fact, I won’t even argue with Dr. Clemons because Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land already did a thoughtful and succinct job of it. Sullivan was similarly flummoxed by Clemons’ fundamental lack of familiarity with search marketing and proceeds to shred the idea that search ads misdirect users in his response. Sullivan demurely refers to himself as a “a little old English major from UC Irvine” but don’t let him fool you, when it comes to the business of search, he is a titan. Folks like Clemons would do well to consult the likes Sullivan and his ilk in the future before writing an article that does more to expose the author’s lack of understanding of the subject matter than to expose any true shortcomings with search marketing.
- Wow, those last two articles had an awful lot of vitriol, didn’t they? Definitely. Let’s make things a bit more upbeat with a little dose of Gary Vaynerchuk, the Internet’s most passionate entrepreneur. Nothing like a little GaryVee to put you in a better mood. Gary is a big fan of Twitter and recently made a popular video address called “How will Twitter monetize.” In the video, he emphatically derides the idea that Twitter would have any difficulty monetizing. He calls Twitter’s search function “the single most important website on the Internet” as well as “the pulse of our society,” and that simply including ads to the platform could single-handedly launch Twitter’s business plan which, to date, has been nebulous to most observers. Hearing Gary describe the people who don’t seem to get this as “clowns” sure makes me afraid to disagree with him!
So, what is the future of search marketing? Is it doomed? Is it healthy? Will it be changed through innovation and revamping? Could a medium like Twitter challenge Google’s supremacy in the medium? Would that be good or bad for the industry?
Perhaps, as a man whose livelihood depends on search marketing, I am biased in my bullishness. However, I can’t help but feel optimistic when there is still so much discussion about search as a marketing tool. Discussion can lead to investment of time, skills and creativity and that often leads to solutions. Whatever problems may exist in search marketing–whether correctly or incorrectly illuminated by Dr. Clemons–seem much more likely to be solved than those that exist in other formats such as print and radio, where talk seems more centered around abandonment than modification.
My hope is that the downturn in search marketing revenues is simply a product of the current economy. Consumer confidence is still low, volatility is still high and the recession seems to be decidedly carrying on for a least a while longer. With these economic conditions, I would be amazed to see success in any marketing medium, even one that I believe in as strongly as search. There’s still hope, though, and those that can weather this storm are likely to come out of it stronger for their resilience. And if I’m going to tie my boat to a rock while the storm rages, I feel confident that my rock is search marketing.
Thanks for stopping by. Read up on and keep up with the online world; keep reading Tues News! Catch ya later!