Kamla Bhatt sent me a link to this post, and it sparked off a few thoughts. What has worked well on the internet so far is performance advertising/ lead generation. Most people who are looking to building a business around enhancing brand presence on the web seem to be taking a PR oriented route to it. Unfortunately, PR budgets are not large. I think there is an opportunity to take another route.

Someone needs to figure out how to dip into the brand advertising pocket of companies for the internet. Few interesting observations:

  • When we talk to using blogs or videos or other social media for enhancing the image, its not just PR – PR often tends to promote people at expense of brands – “Boss’ day out”, “What am I reading” – these are personal profiling tools and seldom help the company/brand. Social media promotions (i promise i will stop using a new term very soon) cuts away from this, and actually helps project the brand
  • Conventional PR is about influencing a medium on which one has very little control, and hence very little promise of delivery. On the internet, the understanding and control of medium is far higher, where agencies can take ownership of deliverables such as reach
  • Given the large spends on brand advertising, metrics obviously play a big role – be it reach/frequency, share of voice, top of mind recall, etc. PR has relatively fewer (column centimeter of coverage!) Internet has the power to support brand-relevant metrics – again, the trick is not to get lost in clicks and impressions, but to have metrics that are relevant to brand salience, positioning, competitiveness, etc.

Most entrepreneurs looking to do the above are taking a PR approach (retainer fee, best effort basis, tap PR budgets). The opportunity is far bigger, and requires an approach to build a system that enables large scale execution and measurement. Bringing brand advertising on the net in significant magnitude can be a big business. Any takers?