There’s a hot new medium called the Internet

I just came across a thorough presentation compiled by Greg Stuart, former CEO and President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). It is called an “In-Depth Introduction to Internet Advertising” and is a whopping 82 slides. However, it contains many great sound-bites as well as stats that any interactive marketer should have in their arsenal.

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Widgets are the new ads – but they aren’t ads

Creating widgets with the goal of engaging the user once or twice and spam their friends, is about as forward-looking as putting radio on TV. I’m not going to say that it’s a waste of money – it’s just a waste of the medium, channel and audience attention.

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There is no best, one-size-fits-all online ad format

It’s hard to be a marketer today with so many new, exciting technologies to pick from, each one casting itself as the holy grail of campaign performance.

Many of them have merit, but none of them is a one-size-fits all solution. Choice of format, targeting, message and measurement all need to align with campaign goals.

In a recent report from Forrester research called “Getting more out of online ads” advertisers are encouraged to take a more holistic approach to planning and executing online advertising programs.

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Social Advertising

These are exciting times for marketers wanting to get involved with social media. Virtually all the major social networks are opening up their platform with their own APIs or adopting open ‘standards’ like OpenSocial. This means more opportunities for marketers to develop meaningful, interactive, social applications to bring their brands to life.

It’s also exciting to see that when it comes to serving advertising to social network users, advertisers that are starting to get that they can’t just re-purpose their old banner ads – but need to engage their audience in meaningful ways.

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Clickthrough Is Losing Its Relevance

Advertisers need to stop producing ads that are likely to generate unqualified clicks, as those ads don’t do anybody justice; Advertisers get frustrated when ads that engage fail to generate conversions, publishers loose their credibility as targeted destinations, but most importantly, customer gets more jaded as they learn that even the few ads they do click on lead to irrelevant junk.

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Podcast interview with David Sidman

During the 2008 AdTech San Francisco trade show Linkstorm CEO David Sidman was interviewed by Latino Print Network’s Kirk Whisler.

Click on the picture below to hear David discuss Linkstorm’s technology, solutions and client results.

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Window-shopping, display advertising, etc.

The role of the banner is 3-fold: 1) Get the customer’s attention and make them slow down, 2) demonstrate relevance and value to the customer, 3) engage customer to act.

It seems we’re asking a lot from a small little graphic on a page. Are advertisers trying to make banners do too much? Could banners be more effective if their objectives were less ambitious?

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James Brown & Banner Advertising

More relevant banner ads generate more clicks. Can’t argue with that logic. However, I’m not sure advertisers have quite figured out what to do with the new rich(er) media ads. My gut feeling says that many advertisers are investing in this type of advertising purely for their branding effect. Maybe the thinking is “if we can’t make users click, let’s at least make the experience memorable, and score high on brand recall and awareness.” That’s a tall order for a small banner.

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Alternatives to Behavioral Targeting are lost in the noise

The current debate around behavioral targeting and online privacy is a healthy one, and as a consumer and a marketing executive I find myself on the fence arguing for both sides.

However, it’s easy to get blind sighted by the polemics of this debate, forcing us to believe that we’re at a fork in the road where our choices are either behavioral targeting or ‘traditional’ (contextual, demographic, intent, etc.).

There are other alternatives that serve both advertiser and the consumer interests and goals. That’s what I think is lost in the noise of this debate.

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The genesis of

At Linkstorm we tried to come up with a clever tagline to associate our name with. Against my better judgment, I decided to solicit the diversity of talent and opinion across the organization in order to define who we are and what we do in a short punchy sentence.

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