Wholesome Marketing Ideas, Bite Size

Wholesome marketing ideas, bite size

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Five gold coins for my attention!

Over the past year or so, Just Marketing has carried guest blog posts from distinguished thought leaders in the field. But looking over the list of contributors, I also noticed that we have had no posts from the next generation of marketers. With the marketing field changing as fast as it is, the next generation has an entirely different perspective on brand building and consumer marketing. The natural toolbox they turn to is the web, and in particular, social media. So I thought it would be worthwhile sampling the perspective of these marketers -- we can all learn from them. Over the next three weeks Just Marketing will carry three guest blog posts from marketers just starting out. Today's post is by Emily Duggan. 

Emily Duggan is in her fourth year studying business at Ivey (Canada) along with a degree in Media Studies.  She has a strong interest in marketing and enjoys photography, graphic design and, most importantly, Thai food. This summer she is excited to continue learning through a position in marketing and, she says, would love any advice you may have!

Recently, I was playing the increasingly popular Pictionary-type app called Draw Something, in which users are motivated to earn coins that allow them to “purchase” more colours to draw with. I had just finished drawing an overly detailed picture of Darth Vader for my little brother when up-popped a screen that offered me five extra coins to watch an advertisement. Wow.Five coins are far more than you can gain from any drawing exchange so this is a BIG DEAL for the average (okay, above average) user.

Not only were the extra coins exciting for my quest to purchase the next colour pack (I’m thinking neon) but it also got me thinking about the implications of what had just happened.

I was eager to watch an advertisement.

This was not something that had ever occurred before- except of course at the movie theater (everyone knows that the previews are the best part). Maybe marketers were starting to realize that most media outlets are saturated with advertising and users are tuning out. Maybe marketers had developed a new advertising model.

In a global survey it was reported that 87% of users avoid TV and radio advertising and 66% of users avoid websites with intrusive advertising[i]. These figures almost beg for a new outlook on the way marketers speak to their audiences. Sure, it is possible to be more subtle, use product placement or guerilla marketing to gain audience awareness but why not just ask your audiences to pay attention. Although online advertising spending is predicted to reach 14 billion in Canada by 2014, marketers are still subject to high avoidance rates. With this in mind, why not PAY your audience to pay attention?[ii] 

Paid-audience advertising is slowly gaining momentum and many websites are being developed to capitalize on the trend. I decided to compare two sites to understand what benefits they intended to offer their users as well as marketers.

You Data {www.youdata.com}

You Data requires that you create a “Me File” which records your interests, your dislikes and your demographic information. This information is then used to ensure that advertisers are targeting their messages to ideal audiences. The site argues that “ your attention is a valuable product, advertisers need it and you are the sole owner and supplier. Stop giving it away. Stop letting other people sell it!”

This “win-win situation” allows advertisers to purchase the attention of users with the criteria they are looking for and who have agreed to listen. Users are given power over their own attention. Through the You Data format, users earn from 1-10 cents per advertisement that they watch. In addition, users are encouraged to refer friends in order to receive more money, expanding the network of users. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this format is that ads are not available all the time- encouraging users to check back for ads to watch.

Varolo {www.varolo.com}

Vorolo’s model is similar to that of You Data in many ways. Again, it requires that users input information about themselves before getting started and consequently ads are targeted towards specific audiences. In this model, however, users are asked to rate each ad they watch which encourages them to pay attention. Also, each week there is a “jackpot” of money that grows with the number of viewers on the site. The more ads you watch, the more times you get entered into the draw. This model encourages competition to be one of the top watchers, which heightens the possibility of major gain.


Is this the change that will align the needs of both marketers and audiences? Overall, I am wary of the success this model will have in the long term. I agree that there is a need for better targeting. There is a chance, however, that when users become accustomed to receiving a reward the model will lose its clout. As psychologist Edward Deci of the University of Rochester explains, “once you begin rewarding [users] they start to see it as something to do to get the reward (…) doing the behavior becomes dependant on the reward…now they wont do the activity unless they continue to get rewards”[iii]. In the case of the paid-audience model of advertising, this could end up costing marketers a lot of time and money to keep their audiences engaged.

Although maybe this model isn’t sustainable, I think it is interesting to look into the creative methods that are being developed to bridge the gap between the needs of marketers and audiences. While it lasts, I will be enjoying all the free coins I can get.

[i] http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_getting-paid-for-watching-ads-not-annoying-survey_1318423
[ii] http://www.globelink.ca/insider/latest/entry.asp?id=1421
[iii] http://www.fastcompany.com/1752187/paying-for-ad-views-the-good-the-bad-and-the-psychologically-ugly


Jenny Watson said...

nice article :) love it
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Jones Morris said...

Thanks for the blog post buddy! Keep them coming... sell old coins near me

Jessica Herron said...

your blog posts are always good.

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