FTC Conference Coverage: Marketing Poll Misses Point

I’m sitting here beside the speed demon stenographer at the FTC’s “Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade,” a public hearing taking place over the next three days in Washington, D.C. Man, I could use one of those machines!

Here’ s something of interest for online marketers. Earlier this morning, there was a poll in which the 300-plus attendees were asked, “Which marketing method will have the most success in the next ten years?” The results:

35 percent said Targeting Technologies
17 percent said Word of Mouth Advertising
26 percent said Mobile Media
22 percent said Interactive Advertising

I have to say, though the FTC is to be commended for hosting this discussion of issues that will be increasingly relevant to consumers in years to come, this poll question indicates a lack of understanding of where advertising is going. Yes, targeting may well be the most important component of advertising, and thus the most successful. However, the notion of separating interactive advertising from targeting technologies disregards the fact that targeting technologies are what drive much of advertising online, as well as mobile advertising. Word of Mouth, on the other hand, is a technique employed in many online marketing and mobile campaigns.

Indeed, the FTC and the folks attending this conference must be aware of the steady integration of all media, the data gathered through it, and the marketing methods deployed through those media, in order to truly conceive of what this stuff will mean to consumers in the future.

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