Monday, December 13, 2004

We Interrupt This Broadcast........................

As I wondered what it would take to make search engines realize the shift that is coming with the mobile phone it dawned on me that it’s the not the search engines and operating systems guys that are behind, its the advertisers.

All this time I thought it was the search engines or operating systems that didn’t get it.

With each medium there has been a cause/effect or chicken/ egg relationship for the advertiser.

The billboard was created solely for advertising.

The newspaper had news but the advertiser provided the funding for it.

The radio had shows, music, news, talk and they all had a sponsors (advertising).

The telephone was probably the first medium that its sole purpose was for communication and it took advertisers years to figure out how to advertise (cold calling).

The TV had programs sponsored by ads.

The Internet..advertisers found that SE would be good (but certainly not the best) vehicle.

Advertisers have found a way to advertise on everything..tshirts ,taxis, stadiums, golf holes, Nascar cars and even roads!

With each medium advertisers have found a way to capture eyeballs and ears. They have adapted to selling advertising through every medium , until now, the cell phone. The cell phone is starting to replace the landline too.

The cell phone will be the most exciting and powerful medium since the television.

There are more cell phones than PC’s in the world and advertisers haven’t figured out a way to get into this space. One PC in a house but chances are there are two plus cell phones.

What other medium has:
- a screen (visual)
- a connection to the Internet
- is mobile
- carried everywhere/anytime
- can be interactive
- allows an immediate purchase?
This is an advertisers dream.

Advertisers learned that spam/popups worked for only so long on the Internet. People found them intruding so the ad dollars shifted to the SE. The popup/spams are” interrupted marketing” and people hate it. The pay per click model is somewhat “permission marketing” because the user is using a SE to find something relevant. Not quite permission marketing but certainly not interrupted marketing. So far the SE pay-per-click model is working but it is still very primitive.

You can’t blame the SE for not being more efficient for advertisers. It’s the only method right now to advertise with. Internet advertising is the equivalent of the TV having 50 million channels. That’s a hard thing to get your hands around and evaluate.

The mind boggling thing to consider,is, there are now more cell phones “TV screens” and websites “TV channels” for the mobile advertising industry to manage. The huge jump in these two variables will be a major disruption in advertising.

The SE advertising model is too random as it allows the SE to determine your marketing.
So how do advertisers tap into the cell phone? Hopefully they will learn their lesson from the Internet and won’t be spamming our cell phones. They will have to get our permission to market to us. How will advertisers get access to those screens, or make us want to connect with them? Why will you(we) allow an advertiser to advertise to you (us)on our cell phones. What is the gimmick/promotion that will makes us give permission? What creates the initial contact?

They are asking permission for your minutes, your time (if you’re surfing or chatting) and your battery life.
Permission must be granted. That will require advertisers using good marketing AND their existing products to do this.

Think of the disruption occurring in the advertising world now. Radio advertisers are losing to satellite radio (commercial free radio). The introduction of hundreds of TV channels already put a hurt on the TV industry. Tivo and DVR’s are literally killing (or Tivo’ing) the 30 second ad.

(Advertising execs in TV world, if you are reading this, email me I have a way to get your 30 second ad back).

Advertisers are now placing the product within the TV show.
The eyeballs are already shifting from the TV to the PC. The shift from PC to the mobile is coming and it will be faster and have a much greater impact.

Advertisers are treating the Internet like TV..WRONG. Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL are the four top “TV’ channels. There’s only so much space on those pages and time in a day to advertise on them. Think back to the early days of TV with ABC, CBS, NBC. Then ask yourself, how did Fox get so powerful? Fox was innovative and catered to what people wanted.
Companies have to recognize their website is their own “TV channel” and with millions of “channels” to choose from, you have to be even more innovative. Think like a FOX.

ABC, CBS, and NBC generated (and generate) so much money because they were the only advertising vehicles for TV. As soon as FOX came along, and cable, that all changed.


Imagine the TV was just invented and you had a chance to participate with the first advertiser. This is like being the first advertising company for TV, only bigger. The mobile market is much bigger. It provides the ability for instant purchase.

This is bigger than venture capital money in Google. Google, as great as it is, is still a commodity. Right now Google is so attractive because it represents the only advertising portal (vehicle) for the Internet. Maybe Google doesn’t call it a portal, but it is, it’s a starting point for search.

What happens to the search engine business when advertisers realize there’s a bigger medium to advertise on. This new medium is mobile.

What will be the advertising vehicle for the cell phone? Will there be a SE for the physical world? Probably not. Every item in physical world will have its own specific destination with a physical world identifier. You will not be searching, you will be connecting. This vehicle will be a “Connection Engine” and it will use physical world hyperlinks.

There will be a device/OS that deciphers these links. A physical world browser. An OS that gives these PWH a dial tone and connects them to the Internet. The difference?… There will be NO NEED TO “SEARCH”.

Who will let Campbell turn on every can of soup? What does Campbell do with them when they are turned on?
Think of the curiosity a hyperlink creates on a website, now imagine it on a soup can. What and where do you want me to go Campbell? What will I get when I get there?

Also, what about Frito-Lay, Coke, Viagra, Nike, Gatorade, Advil, Robitussin…etc.

The cell phones original purpose was for mobile communication. Once that 2”x2” screen was added, a new advertising medium was created. The cell phone represents a new medium that doesn’t have any “sponsors” for now. The questions are, what’s taking so long and what will the vehicle be, for advertisers?

It’s coming soon at a cell phone near you. It’s the physical world hyperlink and the SMS. It will combine advertising and commerce for the mobile phone.

It’s Advertising + Ecommerce + Mobility all in one. It’s GOING to be one powerful industry and will disrupt a few others.

The physical world hyperlink will be the first time an advertiser, with their own product, can directly interact, with any consumer, anywhere, through a mobile medium.

Think about that for a minute. It’s powerful stuff. This is how advertisers get permission to advertise on your cell phone.

The physical world hyperlink will now allow website owners to direct traffic to their site with a physical object rather than a search engine. That’s what I call disruptive.

Think of all the physical items a company has that can now represent a direct connection to their website, maybe even a customer service agent. A pizza box, business card, menu, newspaper ad, TV ad, Coke can, Happy Meal box, storefront logo, For Sale sign.

A PWH can be:
-a barcode,
-2d code
- word,
- number
-rfid tag
- vin number

Soon every Nike swoosh logo will be recognizable as a physical world hyperlink.


It’s one “TV channel” (website) but millions of ways to get there. See the shift? There will still be millions of websites out there, but instead of using a SE (limiting), there will now be many paths (cell phones) to the site. The power shift is going BACK to the brands.

The pay-per-click model is “Get users to click to my site”. That’s the concept and why it’s flawed. Why are companies risking or relying on a company that doesn’t know anything about tomato soup to get you traffic?

Cambells is the one that created the “Umm Umm Good” campaign, so let your creative marketing guys get users to your site. The only way a search engine understands your business is through keyword algorithms? Huh? Math has nothing to do with how effective Campbell’s Soup has built their brand. That’s why search engine advertising is primitive, and also explains why SE are looking to buy advertising agencies.

Are keywords replacing test marketing? Will physical world hyperlinks then replace keywords?

The keyword and the physical world hyperlink are on a collision course. I’ll place my bet on the physical world hyperlinks.

Every can of soup, or physical item with a PWH now becomes a Google “sponsored link”. It’s a way for brands to generate more traffic to their website keeping their costs minimal and fixed. Think of all the cans of Campbell’s Tomato soup, they represent millions of sponsored links when they get a PWH.

Instead of delegating the choice to Google to get users to my site, I (the brand) can now be responsible for that with my advertising on ALL mediums. The brands will also eliminate one variable, the cost I pay Google. I know what I am spending on my advertising campaign and can see the immediate traffic.

With the PWH, there will be two (with speech, 3) devices to get to a website. Now that the website has another dimension (physical) what does this do to the pay-per-click model? You’re not going to a website anymore with a mouse via a SE, but by a cell phone.

Google, how will you sponsor those links?

Right now I see millions of little “ portable TV screens +PC’s +credit cards” just waiting for a company/advertiser to come along and turn on programming.

Who will be the company that starts this mobile advertising industry, and how will it be done?

This won’t be a new company or new technology, but new industries. You can use the “pre-internet” analogy. The computer provided many functions on the desk. The phone provided a means for people to communicate. When the browser was created, PC’s could speak to other machines, get access to info anywhere in the world, advertisers could reach you at your desk, and commerce had no boundaries.

Internet advertising (spam, popups, search engines) industry was created.
Ecommerce was created when people could buy items over the phone line through a PC.
Two multi-billion dollar industries were created when the browser was introduced. The browser created these industries when each company/product had its own domain and was Internet accessible.

There is another “browser” being introduced and it will create at least two very large industries.

It will create mobile advertising and mobile commerce.

This connection engine will be the browser for the mobile Internet. It will allow a cell phone to connect any physical object with a physical world hyperlink to the Internet. A click of camera, typed text, speech will replace the click of a mouse.

These new industries will be huge. They will affect every other medium (TV, newspaper, radio, magazine, Internet). The “physical world browser” is emerging and will allow Phase 2 of the Internet to be truly rewarding for many.

Gee, the cell phone appears to be the most exciting medium since television.

Who will see it first?


Anonymous said...

i like your thinking. Yes there should be a way for a brand to be 'always on'. Being someone who is a marketeer i am more concerned that the ultimate hyperlink is the one which connects my product to point of purchase. Thats the ultimate 'click'...and the one which makes marketing worthwhile and ultimately justifies the spend on the many media types that exist..or will exist.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what ever you have said. But What about a newbrand that wants to come in. What about a new product thats launched by an old company. The physical world browser is valid as long as the product has a good audience. The advertising, most of the times is for gathering those audience as I understand it.
Probably, this is only one of the various paths of the advertising on mobile. There should be someother strong means.