In 1999 we wrote a white paper and domain success primer that argued given all the walled gardens that can intercept your intended searches, the best way to guaranty they get to you is to go to them. By email relationship marketing, subscription refills, offers with reasons to by now and links and reviews on blogs from trusted peer-to-peer sources you can 'take the browsing out of buying".
And in the 8 years that have followed, some companies have done an excellent job of doing just that:
Example: Apple has 48 million visitors to their site an 50 million customers with credit cards on file and a convenient interface that crosses platforms and devices and soon will follow you on every device with centrally managed server storage. That's a lot of music shopping taken right out of buying. And really stickiness that sticks.
Amazon with one click order, your Orbitz and airline mileage statements that tempt you with weekend fare sales... all of these relationships were built on the back of PPC and Banner ads on Yahoo, Google and MSN and essentially they got the lifetime value of the click buying it once. Like a consultant their very business model obsoletes the need for itself.
I remember when I went to Google flowers search and sent someone balloons by clicking through to FTD.
Now FTD is proactive with all my occasions on reminder and emails that make it easy to tick it off the list. I will never need Google to search for flowers again.
- Corporate is getting smart- they now use the net and see where their money is being spent- buried in a gmail or on someone's obscure blog.
- Billions have been wasted to buy ads at the top of the page to cover someone's ass because the site was designed for cool, rather to get that placement organically. Now they are being called on by the SEO mavericks of the world and Google is may no longer the best ROI when you have choices
- Google itself- more companies throw their demos and spots on YouTube and these get passed around for free- how many blogs carried the iPhone spot?? etc The biggest bonanza for advertising has always been a Presidential Election- but when Will i am of the Black-eyed Peas and Obama Girl with 60 million views and 747,000 search results on YouTube can not only post commercials for FREE on Google Media, but get them picked up and repeated by every news organization hundreds of thousands of times (right next to spots that sell for 100s of thousands per second)...
as well as when placed, at the push of a button, on millions of blogs anytime someone catches one on the news-- who needs to pay Google or anyone else for advertising? (remember I covered that when some comedian got the equivalent of a 100 million ad campaign by making a 1984 spoof about Hillary and another showing Obama and Pot. While Donna gets it wrong. There's even The campaign Circus built on the back of free YouTube postings.
- With widgets and affiliates there's no need to buy a word- have you seen the American Airlines widgets that lets you book a trip right on 100s of blogs (as if reading your mind and intercepting your thought before you can go to Google to search.. in effect they have replaced the Google search bar with a private label, biased one)... and Zappos became a billion company with 17,000 free employees that often write reviews on blogs to sell shoes.
.. and they get so much traffic they are now able to sell ads to the people who used to buy them on Google.
-Blogs are selling a lot.. how many sales are made because bloggers call attention to new stuff and provide a link
-- and look at the way prospects interact with suppliers is changing... word of mouth- look at Obama at 20K people rally- "take out your cell and text 5 friends and tell them to vote and contribute $1- raises a million in an hour"
... and smarter marketers know less is more so they are placing prime job ads in your face on linked-in and the top 150 marketing blogs- so people who are the most qualifies "discover" an opportunity rather then rely on them to wake up in the morning and decide to visit jobs.com
... look what the domaining guy has done simply to attract eyeballs and now serves ads that get noticed to a real targeted crowd- it makes me wonder why I bother to write a blog when I could have just monetized a feed of others- that's all Drudge did and he's milling a multi-million offer- not only taking content of the NY Times, but selling ads to the NY Times who depends on Google for their ads Treehugger went for $10mm and Perez Hilton is making millions from the very same simple formula that is built on the FREE Google tools used all over the web on blogs.
Essentially when Time Warner can buy TMZ and start a network of blogs with product reviews that get indexed organically by Google... who needs to buy ads and compete with others in the same arena.