I've always been told that the holidays are the biggest season in advertising. It's been a staple of the industry that the radio waves, the TV, and the billboards in Times Square are all filled with holiday cheer and blatant holiday promotions. I had originally started this column with the intent of looking at some of the current holiday promotions. Strangely enough, I found a complete lack of promotions that were holiday centric. A reload of CNN rendered ads for Groupon that proclaimed things such as "Good News! Up to 90% on local eats" and that I could get a "Free 30 day trial of Cialis for Daily Use." The sponsored links sections on Fox, ABC, and CNN were similarly lacking any holiday ads, but instead loaded with fake blog and fake news links. This raises a few questions that I'd like to ask the industry to comment on, and brainstorm a bit on the problems and the possible solutions.
I'm the first one to admit that I read all those columns that talk about how to get 50 more Twitter followers, or how a certain technology resulted in a .002 percent higher click-rate. I'm a geek at heart and all the cool possibilities in interactive advertising really intrigue me. However, when the industry as a whole seems to be completely missing the immense potential of the holiday season, it makes me really wonder if we need to take a few steps back and start working on the basics of interactive advertising.
So I'm issuing a challenge to everyone in the industry, from the readers of this column to other columnists. First, to the readers: what "basic training" needs to be done in our industry to start getting more holiday dollars? What are we missing, and what did we do wrong? What do we need to learn? And to other columnists: write a column that is holiday centric and addresses specific things that can be done currently, or for next year.
And before I forget, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Joyous Winter Solstice.
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Pace Lattin has been working in interactive advertising since its inception. From being a co-owner of the company that sold advertising in ClickZ before the turn of the century to founding a major interactive advertising publication, he has been involved with all aspects of the interactive advertising industry. He is currently the executive director of the Executive Council of Performance Marketing, an industry organization that represents over 100 C-level executives.
March 19, 2014