Web 2.0 and Advertising: The Old Fashion Way

It’s funny how certain mediums won’t ever die.

Thanks to Web 2.0 and some of the concepts surrounding viral marketing, radio, which many had left for dead due to declining advertising rates, has received a breathe of fresh air. According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, online radio advertising is rising at a double-digit pace. Radio sold $21.3 billion in advertising, including about $1.7 billion in the “off air” category that is namely online advertising

Marketers like online radio because it reaches targeted groups and online ads are easy to track. If listeners hear an ad online, their computers take note. Then if the listeners visit the advertiser’s Web site, the computer alerts the company that the listener just heard its message. That’s a capability that regular radio just can’t compete with.

I took particular note of this article because it represents a great example where Web 2.0 is having a real impact on CRM. Whereas the concept of importing sales leads or building networks for a sales force via Facebook is still very much a theory, viral marketing is legit, and appears to be the only pillar of CRM that’s truly leveraged Web 2.0 to the tune of more customers and increased revenue.

Years ago, companies built Web sites and then attempted to drive consumers to it via banner ads and keyword searches. Today, it’s now possible to construct a Web site that works similar to an application, molding the site’s content and format to allow it to mold to different scenarios, allowing companies to market virally.

Today the Web is no longer just a collection of sites and pages. It’s a collection of feeds and services that deliver content fluidly across a myriad of contexts, from portals and news readers to widgets, mashups, and consumer-generated media sites. The uncontrolled nature of Web distribution is increasingly disruptive to the media business, and smart marketers, particularly in the B2C model, are learning how to leverage Web 2.0 technology to track much of the unfettered content to initiate transactions, build brand recognition, and create advertising opportunities that you didn’t see just a few years ago.