Online Dominance

Study Preview The search engine Google dominates the Internet with intuitive and focused search algorithms. Advertising revenue has grown because commercial messages can be targeted to likely customers. The social networking site Facebook is in a position to offer even more precisely targeted information to advertisers because so much personal information is stored on its servers.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 4.6.1 Describe advertising challenges in reaching a mass audience on the Internet
  2. 4.6.2 Differentiate the advertising approaches of Google and Facebook

4.6.1 Assessing Target Audiences 1. Objective: Describe advertising challenges in reaching a mass audience on

the Internet

The cybermedia landscape is being shaped by traditional media economics. The company that dominates will be the company that attracts the largest audiences. Advertisers want people who will look at their ads and are willing to pay for access. The potential of the Internet for commerce remains largely untapped. Of an estimated $500 billion a year spent globally on brand advertising, only 15.2% was projected to be transmitted via the Internet by 2013.

Easily dominating the search engine market, Google has so many visits every day, every hour, every second that advertisers pay handsomely for on-screen advertising space on pages with search results. Google uses what is called targeted marketing.

Someone searching for information on, say, mosquitoes, is a more likely customer for an anti-itch spray than someone searching for spaghetti sauce recipes or Nordic vacations. Google’s search algorithms offer an unrivaled linkage of products and potential customers—a marketing dream. Although Google has created revenue streams besides advertising, much of its $23.6 billion income a year is from advertising.

In effect, Google slices and dices the mass audience in ways that give advertisers unusual efficiency in reaching the people they seek. In advertising lingo, there is less wastage. Why, for example, should a marinara company buy space in a food magazine whose readers include people with tomato allergies when Google offers a targeted audience of people looking for spaghetti sauce recipes?

4.6.2 Behavioral Targeting 1. Objective: Differentiate the advertising approaches of Google and Facebook

The social networking site Facebook has positioned itself to outdo Google for delivering audience segments to advertisers. Unlike Google, whose algorithms build an atlas of the online universe, Facebook amasses personal information on its users— the people who make purchases. The users’ personal data, when organized and sorted, can be a gold mine for marketing goods and services with new precision.

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