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To chase online ad dollars, news outlets will unbundle news stories, distribute them to separate audiences 8/21/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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Companies that advertise in mass media have had a long-standing problem best expressed by legendary department store magnate John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Actually, Mr. Wanamaker should have felt fortunate it was only half, as most others who wanna-make money are not in businesses where just about everyone in the audience is a potential customer.

Wanamaker did not live long enough to see the other half of his glass filled, but we will. As noted by TransWorldNews, web sites are now breaking-up Internet audiences into smaller and smaller segments based on individuals’ characteristics and interests. Some of these groupings will consist of relatively pure audiences of some advertisers’ very best sales prospects. This is exactly what advertisers have been waiting for all these years, and only the Internet will be able to offer this level of wasteless-ness. So, news outlets will soon be scrambling to create content and sites that parse news and audiences along the lines of sales prospects. News of health, news of financial markets, news of travel, news of upcoming movies, news of fly-fishing — all of these stories will be unbundled and distributed to different audiences, with ad space sold to different advertisers.

Now that Wanamaker has met his maker, his own department store industry has also become unbundled, and now serves customers and retailers better. His was a time when advertising on one-size-fits-all news media fit the needs of one-size-fits-all retailers. Ours will not be.

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