Thursday, September 1st, 2005
Tessa Wegert spots a key trend that I’ve been jawing about at conferences… DIY advertising, which is quietly transforming advertising. Wegert focuses on the word of mouth angle, but her point also applies to advertising purchase and distribution models. Just as blogging upends publishing, tools like Google Adwords, Blogads and Adbrite make it simple for advertisers to place their own ads. We’re doing to the ad industry what Dell did to computer sales and distribution.
As Wegert says, all is not lost for media buyers. But the game is changing:
In many ways, online media has become a self-service communications channel. Advertisers, even those with little online experience, are discovering what consumers have known for years: at its core, the Internet is a medium “for the people.” It doesn’t necessitate assistance from the pros. One can develop ad creative using a home software program, launch a site using inexpensive Web design and hosting tools, and promote one’s initiative with blogs, discussion boards, and good old word of mouth — all without traditional advertising agencies, media brokers, or placements experts.
Where does that leave media buyers, whose livelihoods depend on the demand for ad placement expertise? There’s no denying the need for evolution. Today’s buyers and planners must prove their worth by showing versatility and demonstrating expertise in new formats to makes themselves indispensable. Though it’s certainly possible to work without media buyers, they possess a knowledge of the Internet space and its users that professional and amateur advertisers alike would be remiss not to exploit. Having access to DIY online advertising is one thing. Making it work is quite another.