Sniper or Shotgun – Reach and Targeting in Web 2.0 Advertising

Interesting post on MoCo News, talking about Blyk, the virtual mobile network for 16-25 year olds (and they need proof of age before you join) has gathered 28,000 subscribers in the roughly five months since they launched (the target is 100,000 after twelve months in operation). The aim of the company is to get a rich vein of users that are particularly attractive to advertisers, and then generate a (substantially greater) income stream by acting as an advertising middle man.

The problem is a simple one – advertisers may talk about getting to certain parts of the market, but present them with an opportunity to do so, and it’s not cost effective They need bigger numbers, more reach, more eyeballs for their dollar – the more innovative the product, the more that the advertising market is looking for bigger numbers, as if to balance the risk.

It’s a problem (facet?) of podcasting as well. The ability to deliver a targeted group of listeners of a specific product or lifestyle is insignificant when compared to the power of the force when compared to a raw ‘give us 100,000 uniques over the network.’ Neil Dixon looked today at where the promise of podcasting went, and I think that the majority of us expected the advertising industry to be a little bit more pro-active in seeing the potential than they have been. Yes they are still looking and innovating in audio, but at a much slower pace than I personally feel they should be – conversely I bet they al lthink they’re moving incredibly fast, it’s all to do with your frame of reference.

What I do know, from practical experience, is the shift that new media needs to drive success (ie targeted advertising in effective, yet low volume, runs) is more prevalent, and becoming more acceptted. We are getting there, it’s just taking a little longer than we hoped.

Let’s hope the business plans for VC funding have taken that into account!

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