Monday, January 16, 2006

"Analyst Marketers"

There's a great BW article today (via AdJab) on Search Engine Marketing. One of the most amazing aspects of search is how it moves advertising out of the world of the unknown creative and into the world of analytics and number-crunching. It's actually a realization that's a bit upsetting: a lot of people got into advertising because of the creativity (and not just the creatives themselves, mind you).

Sometimes, when I talk about search engine ads, I wouldn't actually call them "ads". They're really more like "offers". To some degree, I think I want to protect those really great examples of breakthrough thinking. The 1984 commercial should be categorized separately from "Buy [insert wildcard] products at eBay".

The article focuses on search, but I do think that we need to realize that this method of placing ads is beginning to migrate toward more traditional placements. Certainly contextual is at the forefront of this. But placing ads has always been a math problem. Now, what we're seeing is the ability for media planners (or "analyst marketers" as the article calls them) to use software to consider a staggering number of factors when making the placement decision.
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