John Wannamaker is famous for saying something along the lines of: "I know half my advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half." It appears that some advertisers are finally starting to figure out which half works. It's not laid out in exactly this manner, but in a NY Times article about how larger national newspapers are suffering more than their smaller local papers in building up advertising revenue, it's suggested that some of this may be due to advertisers recognizing the value of more targeted ad placements, thanks to the much more targeted advertising found via paid search. In other words, once advertisers realize that there's a much better payout for targeted ads, they're increasingly less willing to go with a more national blanket "branding" ad campaign where the results are less clear. Of course, this sounds like the type of thing that will be cyclical. As fewer national branding campaigns appear, some company will realize that it's suddenly much cheaper to do one, and we'll be reading about how widespread national branding campaigns are the big thing, instead of smaller targeted ad campaigns.
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