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The Advertiser's Doom · Wednesday June 16, 2010 by Crosbie Fitch

In Ad Blocking is Here to Stay Michael Castello notices another business model that is declining in viability and observes the complaints of those who would see it preserved at all costs.

Lazaris basically subscribes to the idea that because advertising has been a primary source of income for many websites, it should stay that way. This completely ignores the fact that the world changes, and things that were once highly profitable may lose relevance. It’s like farriers complaining about automobiles or whalers complaining about electricity – you can bemoan the changes all you want but the business choice is straightforward: adapt or be left behind.

Advertising (as is traditionally recognised) is inevitably in decline. This is because it resulted from an extreme asymmetry that developed between vendors and customers when vendors became mass producers, and could no longer meet their customers on a one-to-one basis. It was further exacerbated when vendors took advantage of mass communications technology (printing, broadcasting) to communicate UNIDIRECTIONALLY to their customers (current and potential). Very little communication has been possible in the other direction for decades if not a century or more, i.e. customers needing to communicate their wants and prices to potential vendors, especially mass producers.

With the advent of the Internet this communications imbalance is set to become balanced, i.e. vendor product advertising/customer discovery severely declining in proportion to the increase in customer need advertising/vendor discovery that is slowly rising to meet it.

When communication is unidirectional it is economic to pay others to compromise their own communications (parasitism) in order to reach potential customers that are otherwise effectively blind, deaf, invisible and dumb (they can’t get closer to the vendor to see or hear them, nor be seen by them, nor speak loudly enough to be heard).

When communication is bidirectional the value of inserting one’s message in another’s communication is liable to become much less than the loss of value it causes. Thus such traditional, parasitic advertising is likely to cease entirely.

Selling audience eyeballs is doomed as a business model.

Instead we will see both vendors and customers making their communications publicly available with a view to potential relationships/exchanges, and both looking to discover and be discovered by each other. Communication then occurs directly according to the relationships that are made.

See Doc Searls’ ProjectVRM for further details of this tectonic rebalancing of marketplace communications and relationships.

Steve R. said 3345 days ago :

The unidirectional nature of advertising (including telemarketing/junk mail) has been a major irritant. Basically, in looking at this issue, we have been overlooking the rights of the recipient of the advertising message. Fundamentally, what “right” gives an advertiser the ability to “trespass” on the consumer? I posted on this topic here: srynas.blogspot.com/…

An indirect adverse effect of the unidirectional nature of advertising, has been the use of lawsuits as an attempt to silence critics.

Essentially, advertisers seem to believe that they have an entitlement to “accost” the consumer and if the consumer reacts by complaining to silence the consumer.

PS: There have been customer satisfaction surveys that I participated in. I hope that these surveys were valid attempts at facilitating two-way communication.



 

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