Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Research Note: The (Next) Context Shock

While the geeks get on with discussing...uhh...exactly the same thing (for the billionth time this month), you might wanna note that, very very quietly, the revolution has begun.

A year or two back, I wrote a lot about "profile-based advertising".

What Myspace is doing with interest-based targeting is exactly that - and it's going to unlock a tsunami of value for advertisers and consumers alike.

Oh yeah - and (unfortunately) Zardoz (aka Rupert) as well. Oh well...

The point:

Forget the hype about Facebook's platform, etc (especially when it comes from dudes like Mark Cuban, who have umm...deeply vested interests in trying to stop an open mediaconomy from ever taking shape).

If you wanna know how that's gonna shake out, read the last month of posts - we've already discussed in detail how the game will play out.

If you wanna know what's gonna rock the consumptionscape next - think deeply about interest-based targeting (and especially why Myspace can do it better than Facebook).

Read these posts from a few years back - they talk a lot about why the economics of profile-based targeting dominate the economics of connected consumption.

-- umair // 5:17 PM // 6 comments


Can you fix the links? Format seems all wrong. I really want to read those old posts.
// Blogger //Johan // 4:20 AM

The link "read these notes" seems to be broken. But I like the phrase from elsewhere "intention not attention".
// Blogger Paul Sweeney // 8:18 AM

hi guys,

thx for the catch - links have been fixed.
// Blogger umair // 1:05 PM

hi guys,

thx for the catch - links have been fixed.
// Blogger umair // 1:13 PM

Should be interesting to see how Google + DoubleClick does in the intention v. attention transition. MySpace will have just as much right, but perhaps less technical know-how to deeply deliver on the promise.

A small piece from earlier this year covering DoubleClick's long standing ideas in the arena:
// Anonymous CoryS // 2:20 PM

Hey Umair,

First: thanks for more good thinking / writing within the babble of the Facebergstorm. ++return on attention.

Second: the old posts don't really talk about profile-based advertising vs. connected consumption except in an overall, macro sense. So don't be surprised if folks aren't 2+2ing it. And reading in depth on screen is hard.

Third: I don't think you've actually made a case for why profile-based advertising dominates connected consumption. And I'm not sold that it does.

If I read carefully I'd guess you're arguing that the implicit information of profile-based advertising (preferences, subscriptions, habits, saved, shared, etc.) beats the explicit information of connected consumption for (a) simple efficiency / scalability and (b) for the basic rule that what we say and what we do are different things, and it's easier to advertising against what we do than what we say.

So if those assumptions stand up, then I'd argue profile-based advertising is an extension of existing advertising practices -- advertisers get new, better data to use for targeting. But it's still targeting, and interruption and a nuisance cost on your attention. No one's asking for better advertising on MySpace or in their feedreader.

On the other hand, connected consumption 'atomizes the existing value chain' of advertising, constructs an entirely new one (where advertisers have surrendered market power to consumers) and makes word of mouth (what we have used forever to make decisions and what is valuable to us as humans) tangible, searchable and shareable. My peers are my influencers. How can I ask them for advice / seek their approval on purchases?

When we're able to answer that last question, then we're past the nuisance cost on attention and into real value for consumers.
// Anonymous James // 6:26 PM

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