Audience FragmentationMarch 11, 2008
Loren Baker published a post yesterday on how to set up TwitterFeed. It's a good, instructive, post for anybody looking for (more) ways to leverage the social media, but it brings to light an ongoing trend - Audience Fragmentation.
As more and more social media sites crop up, target demographics will become more and more fragmented across these. Online marketers trying to reach these consumers (of content, products, etc.) are quick to embrace the newest gadget that allows them to spread their message far and wide and, on the surface, this seems ideal. However, it's not yet a perfect solution.
Online audience fragmentation, in general, is an issue. Any advertiser looking to target a specific demographic with reasonable reach and frequency quickly finds that they need to run ads across many, many sites. This ends up being highly inefficient and costly from a media buying perspective. As a solution the hot ticket in online advertising right now is the Vertical Ad Network. Vertical Ad Networks were pioneered by such companies as Jumpstart Auto Media and NetShelter Technology several years ago, with perhaps the best known current example being Glam Media. The concept is simple - online publishers interested in the same set of users band together under an umbrella ad distribution platform. This platform is typically run by an interested party who is also a content producer. In the case of Glam Media, they serve as the Ad Sales arm for all the publishers in their network and also provide the technology solution to aggregate and target ad delivery across the publisher base. Adify has also made quite a splash providing an open Ad Network Platform, basically allowing anybody to set up an Ad Network and recruit publishers.
Clearly a similar solution that would enable a targeted marketing reach into the social media sites would be welcome by online marketers the world over. The results would be reduced marketing costs and higher conversion rates - something everybody can appreciate.