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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Advertising as Pissing Contest

Excellent review by Greg Jarboe of the SES session on "Winning a Bid War". Panelists apparently spiced up their presentations with liberal references to Sun Tzu, "going for the heart," and bid "shadowing," a tactic akin to picking out the other team's best player and following him around the rink.

For every aggressive tactic, though, there's always a counter-tactic. Counter is also the prefix in "counterproductive." Shadow Gretzky, and he'll pass off and the other guy will score. Meanwhile you diverted your focus from doing the other things you needed to be successful.

See, war is the wrong analogy for an auction-based advertising system. It's math. It's business. It's not war.

I enjoyed Stanley Bing's book as much as the next meat-eating executive. But the whole thing was a sendup, people.

Plus, most of the advanced bid tactics won't work at all with Google AdWords, and will stop working the day Yahoo redesigns their auction. No longer will you have any idea what competitors are bidding, and "shadowing" or "jamming" them will be the least of your worries.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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