With all the dire comments on the future of online advertising, the one place marketers need to keep their eye on is the New York Times online. They’re the ones who seem to be experimenting with new models and solutions.
Last fall I pointed out an example from IBM, where the “ad” was links to NYT.com Opinion pieces that talked about IBM’s solutions. Smart and believable.
A few days ago I saw this as I was reading a business article. This “News for Marketing Professionals” seemed to know who I was, and it showed up in a place where I would have a good reason to click on it (as opposed to showing up in the Sports section).
Looking closer, I noticed that LinkedIn had sponsored the ad. I have an account at LinkedIn where I’ve identified myself as a marketing professional. LinkedIn teamed up with the New York Times to sponsor links I should have interest in which should:
- Make me smarter
- Show me how LinkedIn is helping my career
The best part, however, is that LinkedIn didn’t use marketing messaging. It used content from the site it advertised on.
This might be easier to do on big, content rich sites like the Times. I’d love to see some ad network figure out how to do this through multiple content providers.
Keep watching, I’m sure there’s more coming.