The world is changing and the way it makes money is evolving.
Two quite broad and rather obvious statements I know, however in terms of marketing or (to be more specific) digital marketing or (to even more specific) third sector digital marketing there are trends that may need to be taken notice of.
What I’m referring to is advertising… or more accurately the placement of third party advertising.
This isn’t a new thing in any way. Google has been making billions for years simply through the placement of adverts on its search engine and third party sites… and those site have, obviously, been displaying ads.
A couple of other interesting developments have also occurred recently in the world of advertising:
1 – Product placement within TV programmes.
2 – Ads at the beginning of YouTube videos.
This has, in general, been accepted by the masses as a great way to increase revenue.
Want some examples? I’ve got two very recent one’s for you:
Daniel Craig gave an interview in the Metro a few days ago talking about production team choosing to switch the international man of mystery’s drink of choice from Martinis to a certain brand of larger. His argument: the sponsorship helps pay for the film – “There’s a big furore but it’s not what the movie’s about – we haven’t sold out completely.”
Similarly movies trailers on YouTube are (ironically) often preluded with a short 15/30 second ad from someone else.
In the Evening Standard yesterday Simon Cowell spoke out about the sale of EMI. During the interview he spoke out about the need for music companies to diversify to survive citing that his own label – Syco – “[isn’t] a music company… Ten years ago, we realised we couldn’t stay as a record company and we created a TV company. Now the TV business is creating an ancillary business. That’s what all of the music companies have got to do with their artists or they are not going to survive.”
The beauty of Cowell’s business is that it provides three functions: 1 – it helps find “talent”, 2 – it markets said “talent” and 3 – it presents opportunities to bring in marketing revenue.
So with most of the rest of the world leaping on every opportunity to bring in cash why have NFP sites been, on the whole, reluctant to include advertising on their sites, YouTube accounts and marketing materials?
I think the answer is in the title of this post – a concern for integrity. Are we selling out by associating with another company / organisation / product?
This is a valid concern – I’m not going to suggest otherwise. Most NFP organisations are very careful about their corporate relationships and have teams dedicated to managing them.
However – I’m not sure that the concern need be all that great. I think the majority of people out there realise that by providing advertising outlets on your digital portals you’re not endorsing that product (not to mention that you can have some very strict control over who advertises).
The jist of what I think I’m asking is ‘What is the value of this “integrity”?’
And this is probably quite a personal thing…
For me – well – I’m definitely not going to suggest that we start placing advertising banners all over our site at work. However I think I would feel ok allowing ads to feature at the beginning of our YouTube videos.
As always please – feel free to leave comments below (that’s what it’s there for!)