Sam Harrelson

The Valley Still Doesn’t Get Performance Marketing



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Nick Denton, head of Gawker Media (which is the umbrella for such wide-read and influential blogs as Lifehacker, i09 (one of my favs), Gawker, Valleywag, Fleshbot, etc) writes about the coming online advertising apocalypse…

Doom-mongering: A 2009 Internet Media Plan: “Internet advertising is by no means immune. Advocates of the internet claim that the sector is both more mature than it was during the last downturn; and it’s more ‘measurable’ than other media. They hope to avoid a repeat of the 27% decline in 2000-2002. Good luck with that. The sector’s maturity also means that its underlying growth is more sluggish than it was in the late 1990s. In 2001, internet advertising swung to a 13% decline from 78% growth the previous year; this time the sector starts from a growth rate of 27%; I would hate to see what a swing as violent as the dotcom burst would look like. As for the measurability of internet media: sure, marketers and their agencies can track engagement and clicks in great detail online; but it’s still only television advertising that can demonstrate a correlation between spending and a boost to a marketer’s sales.”

What Denton and Calacanis, etc fail to come to grips with is that the model of ad welfare which has supported the Silicon Valley lifestyle and worldview over the last 5 years of web2.0 is not (and has never been) the reality of actionable advertising or marketing.

Despite Calacanis’ dire predictions of affiliate marketing’s irrelevancy at Affiliate Summit West ’08, there is a brighter future for the industry compared to what the Valley will have to endure in the coming years.

Welcome to reality. Have a seat. Enjoy the view.



Posted: 11.12.2008

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