AWE Partner: Hibe, Inc. — The State Of Advertising And Social Media
BY JENNIFER ETHIER, VP MARKETING, HIBE, INC.
When we were invited to participate in Advertising Week 2012, we were proud to accept and be listed among the partners for this year’s prestigious event.
At Hibe we approach advertising a little unconventionally, but this is exactly the kind of approach that the industry needs to solve many of the problems plaguing advertising today.
The current trend of online advertising is less than ideal – where people, as users of online services, are increasingly commoditized. All too many sites view users as a means to an end – where the end equals advertising dollars. This leads to the users being alienated and eventually disconnecting altogether.
Let’s go back 20 years or so, in a time where the Internet was still in its infancy. At this time the main forms of mass media were radio and television. Here, the standard form of advertising was one of reciprocity- where users were given free access to a form of media in exchange for exposure to advertisements, and for a premium could pay to experience advertising free media (premium cable).
Fast-forward to the present. Many online services follow a very similar advertising model to TV and Radio. Products such as Evernote, Grooveshark and many others offer a free service in exchange for advertising dollars. Again, for a premium, ads can be removed and additional features unlocked. Now let’s look at another type of advertising model, one which demands a lot more from users and gives a lot less in return:
In Q2 of 2012 alone, Google made $10 billion dollars in advertising revenue and Facebook made $992 million. While making a profit off advertising is completely acceptable, let’s look at what these companies give users in exchange:
The obvious answer to this question is that Google and Facebook give users access to their social media platforms. But can Google and Facebook really be seen as providing a service, if all their users are to them is a source of data? In other words, should the mouse be grateful for the cheese at the end of the maze, if the cheese was bait for the scientists to collect data about the mouse?
The heart of the issue here is if users are nothing more than a source of data to Facebook and Google, who are they providing a service to exactly, aside from themselves?
Simply put, there are 3 main problems right now, with many more to arrive in the coming years:
1. Privacy Invasion: Brands want a better ROI. For that, they need consumer data to create tailored advertising messages and more accurately target consumers. Many consumers don’t want to give out their information to everyone, and this is where Facebook and Google enter, acting as information brokers who dish out user information without consumer consent, which causes an increase of privacy concerns.
2. Regulations: Because of the increasing privacy breaches and public controversies – there is an increase in regulations which has the potential to cripple the online marketing industry.
3. Efficiency decrease: Because of a panic on the part of online marketers not understanding how to reach consumers, consumers are being overloaded with advertising noise. This has an opposite effect of instead of paying attention to advertising, consumers are tuning it out.
These are among the problems that Hibe has worked hard to solve. For more on how Hibe will solve these issues in the advertising industry, stay tuned for another blog post soon to come. Until then, try signing up for a free account at http://hibe.com and begin exploring the potential Hibe can bring to brands and advertisers.
- by AWE
- posted at 2:06 pm
- August 20, 2012