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On April 24th-26th 2007 we attended the ad:tech convention at Moscone Center in San Francisco; we did some great video interviews which will be featured here (3net Search Engine Marketing Blog by Social Media Systems) highlighting many of the booths and contributing companies.



New this year are several companies who seem to have an identity crisis: they say they are everything from PPC and PPA to organic SEO; the lines are blurry between TV, Internet, PR, advertising, technology and website design and development.

We interviewed several company officials on camera (the videos will appear in streaming video format on our blog here within a week or two).

I found it surprising, even for me, how many of the presenters really could not explain their product offerings; the advantages and features so that even I could understand why or how anybody would buy them: even with my technical background I was confused (with a few notable exceptions).

It struck me how broad and deep the playing field has become: according to this article about Google’s aquisition of DoubleClick:

After peaking at US$8.2 billion in 2000, US on-line ad spending fell in 2001 and 2002, but it began regaining lost ground in 2003. In 2004 the market finally broke the 2000 record, ending with US$9.6 billion in on-line ad spending. Growth rates in recent years have been in the 30% to 40% range. On-line ad spending in the US reached an estimated US$16.8 billion in 2006, a growth of 34% compared with 2005, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

With all this growth, there are alot of players at this years ad:tech that I do not expect to see again next year (yup, that bad!) and many who will have already sold out for big bucks by next year.

 We will be sharing many of the best and worst with you in the next few weeks: let me start here by sharing a trend that (with only one notable, huge competitor of ours as an exception) everyone seems to have missed: the creation and syndication of content as advertising; IE advertiser generated real content as an advertising strategy.

We are doing it this year (see rismedia.info) as part of our solution for Real Estate Magazine; we are rolling out a social media platform where we will invite all 600,000 of their print and opt-in online readers worldwide to fill out a social media profile and blog at an appropriate RISmedia.com/local/state/city area of the website we are building now: the advertisers for the beta roll-out, one city at a time, will be local Real Estate Brokers/editors – who are

  • local news reporters,
  • local section editors
  • AND paid advertisers

All at the same time!

If you have a print or journalism background, it may shock you that we are actually including local news authorship as part of a paid advertising bundling: you may even find it offensive that now anybody with enough talent to get noticed and become popular at sites like digg.com, associatedcontent.com, and now (very soon) RISmedia.com are able to get published regardless of educational background, political correctness, or media clout.

Consider, however, that the success of American Idol and utube signal a mega-trend: a shift from media controlled, editor and media professional reporting and editing; to the direct, democratic filtering of user generated, user filtered content: IE: we can all publish whatever we want in real time; we can see stuff that has not been edited; we can digg.com whatever we like, and we can all get published, and yes, even famous if we are popular.

These changes are shaking the very foundations of the main-stream media, and changing the way business is done.  Main-stream marketing is giving way to niche strategies: viral solutions are possible on a shoestring to the very tech-savvy, and the very lucky: and all of this is driving pyridine shift.

Notable are the the growth of social media solutions as advertising strategy, PPA (pay-per-action) and other alternatives (SMO – social media optimization) have skewed the lines between marketing and media, between strategy and execution, between editorial and advertising!  Stay tuned for change!

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