Growing Up or Just Booming Again?

Business Week takes a look at advertising online as it speculates on what 2005 will have to offer.

The article speaks in very general terms, taking into account all online advertising, including banners and all the rest. Search does of course fall into this mix and is touched on, if only very subtly.

Recently, another search optimization and marketing firm announced that it had been purchased by a larger ad agency.

Is it the eventual growth and maturation of the Internet as an ad medium, or is this just another fad fueled craze?

Are companies and agencies really learning the value of what online advertising can be, or is this the result of countless media stories that hype online ads finally having an effect on marketing departments? Sort of a chicken and egg theory at play here. Are marketers really flocking to the Internet because they’ve “got it”, or are they coming in waves because they’re afraid to miss it?

Hard to say yet. Online advertising can certainly be a powerful media. Especially with it’s demographic targeting and accountability. There’s the catch though. Over and over we see reports about company A spending thousands without the tools to track campaigns. So I wonder, why is that? The options available for tracking are so vast, with something in every price range and level of expertise, that I can’t imagine why this information would be ignored. Unless of course company A has no clue they can get this data. And if they don’t know that, do they really understand online advertising?

It strikes me that all this sounds rather cynical. I don’t mean for it to. News like this is very encouraging. I’m excited for 2005. It’s great that companies are ready to come back online with as much vigor as they are. Anything we can do to help is fantastic.