CR Business archives
Much online advertising is not done well
A service of A.M. Costa Rica

Much online advertising is not done well

By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Online advertising really pays if it is done right. The problem is that the industry got off on the wrong foot. And it continues to shoot itself there.

Despite the missteps, online advertising is expected to reach $6.5 billion this year. The question is how much of the money is wasted.

A.M. Costa Rica was founded in the following principals which may be valid elsewhere:

1. Every ad should be a complete sales talk, ending with an invitation for the viewer to click to visit the Web page of or e-mail the advertiser.

2. Little ads are like phonebook listings. A little block that says "sewer service" might be helpful when the pipes are overflowing, but a larger ad introduces the sewer company before the problems develop and puts the company name in the back of the viewer's mind.

3. Advertising is cumulative. If you want customers in August, advertise today.

4. Viewers of advertising are captivated by coupons, sales and discounts. An ad that says"Buy curtains" would pull better if it said "Buy curtains now with a 10 percent discount."

5. All the advertising in the world will not help a retail outlet if those employees interacting with customers are idiots. Once the customer lands on the company's Web page they are are in the hands of the advertiser.

6. The bigger the ad, the bigger the pull. Ad sales people want an advertising campaign to be successful. They want repeat business. So most will not try to oversell the client. When they say "Advertise big!" they are speaking the truth.

7. Word of mount is a great vehicle for promotion. But the client cannot control what people say. One unhappy person with Internet access can do plenty of damage. Word of mouth also cannot promote special sales or events. But a good advertising campaign can stimulate word of mouth.

8. Advertising may be cumulative but a single ad sometimes has dramatic effects.We advertised one of our minor Web sites for one edition at the top of Page 3 because we were blocking out the space for a customer's ad that was delayed.The minor Web site showed double readership the day the ad ran, from an average to 150 views a day to 300.

Online advertising got of on the wrong foot because standardized ad sizes are too small to be effective. What can be promoted in a 15-pixel square banner?

The industry continues to use ineffective ad sizes. For us, an effective ad is 700 pixels by 218 or 436 pixels deep. That's about 9.7 inches by 3 or 6 inches.
—archived Feb.17,2011

Copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2010, a Costa Rican publishing company.
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