This last week I was up at AdTech in San Francisco. It was the first time I had ever gone to AdTech. I had always felt that being in the business (while I was at Yahoo!), that it wasn't worthwhile to go. But this year, I decided to go as I had heard there were many friends who were attending and I wanted to catch up.
There was one thing that stood out. As I walked through the exhibition floor, I felt very confused. I imagined myself as a publisher website looking for interactive advertising services. I scanned the booths as I walked by. And I saw the same messages over and over again:
"Search Engine Marketing"
"Rich Media Advertising"
Every booth said exactly the same thing as every other booth. It just goes to show that the Internet marketing space is hugely crowded. It seems as though there are so many firms doing exactly the same thing. Yes, potentially doing it a little better, or a little different. But as a naive conference attendee, I had no idea who was better and who was not.
1. If you're going to market something, you need to figure out messaging that stands out from the rest. Escaping conference floor "blur" is critical.
2. If you're going to start a company, don't start one in a crowded space with many competitors.