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Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
How to make web ads work
Screenshot from the web
The Daily Draw uses permission-based marketing
On Friday technology consultant Bill Thompson argued that online ads are a waste of time. Not so, argues online marketing expert Derick Hill. Advertisers just have to change the way they work, he writes.
Apart from wobbly wheels on my supermarket trolley, I find nothing more annoying than a barrage of unwanted and irrelevant ads appearing before, during and after a visit to my favourite website.

But it is not usually the format that annoys me. What does annoy me is that fact that the ads are not what I came for, bear no relation to my interests and are wasting my valuable time.

And I am going to ignore them.

So they are doing me no good and certainly doing the advertiser who is paying for them, and the site that is showing them, no good either.

But it does not have to be like that. Enter permission marketing.

Happy consumers

The principles behind permission marketing are nothing new. It is all about the advertiser creating a relationship with the consumer and understanding them and their interests.


Ask the consumer for permission to communicate with them by showing them adverts and listen and respond to their comments.

Make sure you show them things they are going to be interested in, at a time and in a format they are happy with.

Finally the successful advertiser recognises and rewards the consumer for their attention.

Instant data

This can be remarkably successful online. Take a simple site like www.thedailydraw.com where players specify their interest areas and play a free 1m lottery every day in return for seeing ads and special offers on their selected subjects.

The reason sites like this are able to make online advertising work is because they really exploit the internet's advantages in producing a genuine win-win situation.

Online marketing expert Derick Hill
Hill: Online ads need to be relevant
The advertisers are happy to pay for an attentive and receptive audience and the consumers are being respected and rewarded for looking at an advert they are actually interested in seeing.

The internet's greatest strength for a marketer is its ability to provide a wealth of instant consumer behaviour data.

It is the advertising industry's responsibility to collect that data, use it to understand consumers and construct products and advertising campaigns that match their changing needs.

Only when we in the online advertising business have addressed the problem of relevance should we begin to address the problem of creative interpretation.

So, I do not mind if I see an ad in a skyscraper form or as a pop-up. But in an ideal world, it appears just before I am about to go to the supermarket and offers me an instant wobbly wheel fixer kit.

Derick Hill is Managing Director of PDV Ltd, an online direct marketing company.

Bill Thompson guides you through the world of technology



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See also:

09 Aug 02 | Technology
24 Jul 02 | Technology
20 Mar 01 | Business
26 Nov 01 | dot life
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