Generic marketing instead of "Ellbögle

The Swiss online advertising industry needs a strong voice to make the possibilities public.

The Swiss online advertising industry needs a strong voice to make the possibilities publicBy Clemens HörlerThe online advertising industry is ailing. What is needed now is strong generic marketing and educational work. But the industry has no audible common voice. The Swiss Internet Advertising Bureau has been able to achieve little so far.
The vultures have long been whistling from the rooftops that things are not going according to plan in the online advertising industry. But numerous case studies have shown that online marketing can lead to success. So why does advertising on the Internet only account for a measly one percent of the advertising pie, despite the growing Internet community?
One reason is probably that many advertisers are not yet fully aware of the possibilities that are available on the Internet. "Many decision-makers and consultants from the traditional advertising industry are still not sufficiently informed about the possibilities of online marketing," observes Christoph Morach, Managing Director of Qualiclick Switzerland.
This situation is exacerbated by the fact that representatives of the online advertising industry often speak in terminologies that are unfamiliar to traditional marketers, advertisers and media planners.
"Peter Strassmann, Managing Director of ActiveAgent Switzerland, is convinced that "strong generic marketing is needed to boost the online advertising industry. However, up to now, there has only been a rudimentary form of generic marketing, including educational work, supported by the entire industry in Switzerland. Instead, intermediaries and marketers are fighting for market share with all means at their disposal.
Are the Swiss copying the German model?
The Internet Advertising Bureau Switzerland (IAB), actually predestined and created for a cohesive appearance of the
industry, has so far been able to attract little attention. The board of the IAB (www.iab. schweiz.ch) is overloaded. "We have far too few financial and human resources," explains Martin Radelfinger, President of the IAB Switzerland and Managing Director of AdLink Internet Media Switzerland. After all, he says, most of the board members and members of the working groups have more than 100 percent of their workload. For Morach, too, the double workload of many members is an important reason why the Swiss IAB has so far hardly achieved anything worth counting.
Radelfinger sees greater opportunities for the future of the IAB under the umbrella of a stronger association. Soon the General Assembly of the IAB will vote on whether to join the Swiss Interactive Media Association (Sima). Radelfinger: "The model of an IAB working group with representation on the Sima board corresponds to the German IAB model, which works very well."
Radelfinger and Morach see light on the horizon in the relationship between marketers and intermediaries: they sit down together and discuss measures for generic marketing.
Interest in a thriving online advertising market has already driven individual marketers and intermediaries to raise their voices for digital marketing beyond corporate and product advertising.
For example, Real Media teamed up with Borsalino.ch and Search.ch and other website operators. In November 2000, they held the New Media Circle, which was aimed primarily at representatives of media agencies.
Already the first initiatives for generic marketing
The event was intended to promote greater integration of new media in the advertising and media planning of traditional agencies. Due to personnel changes at Borsalino and a fundamental restructuring at Real Media, there has not yet been a new edition. Above all, the co-organizer Search
.ch continues to be active
and organises, for example, seminars on the subject of online advertising at trade fairs that are not simply advertising for its own platform.
Qualiclick also wants to take the classic advertisers to task and, together with the BSW, offer advertising agencies help and tips about advertising on the Internet and seminars on bswjobs.com. At present one is still in the process of generating contents for the Website, explains Morach. The first seminars are to take place from 6 to 8 June. The high number of registrations so far speaks for the need for information. According to Morach, Qualiclick is endeavouring to place the events at the service of the marketing of the genre and not simply to promote itself.
In mid-May, ActiveAgent also made its mark as an organizer for the first time: According to Strassmann, ActiveTalk is to become an information and discussion platform for new trends and technologies as well as successful case studies. Strassmann: "In classic advertising, a lot of money is thrown out the window - but no one can measure it. Online it's different. The many bad examples spoil the reputation of the medium instead of that of the online advertiser. And that's why it's so important to do outreach and education to get a lot more successful examples."
Self-interest can always be seen behind these individual and small alliance initiatives. However, this does not have to be negative if the entire industry were to have a strong common voice. Not only marketers and intermediaries are called upon, but also website operators. The activities of research companies that collect data on Internet use also ultimately serve the industry.
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