For a couple of years now I have admonished the advertising world to come up with “new age” technologies to match Web 2.0 tech advances. Until yesterday, not many have really captured even a part of the idea that online ads (or offline ones either) need another delivery methodology. Except for perhaps Google. Permuto, a Palo Alto startup with this goal in mind, just launched ShopperConnect, its marque service for advertisers and consumers alike. This technically advanced, and well thought out product may in fact be the precursor to even more refined ad-wares that might just solve the problem of effectively engaging the online market.
Permuto unveiled this interesting new platform in Las Vegas at the Shop.org Conference on Tuesday. The focus of the product is obviously aimed at online retail or e-commerce market with a product designed to meet or beat SEM competitors. The innovation strives to bring measurablity and targeting performance of search engine marketing to display advertising. The exact area of advertising which the digital market has needed all along. What the platform promises, and appear to deliver on, is connecting retailers and other key online outlets with their consumer bases. By tracking consumer activity on partnering sites, attatching a value index appropriately, and playing the correct ads in front of consumers, Permuto effectively solves one more component in the B2C equation in a similar, but more effective relevancy to Google’s somewhat semantic advertising technology.
As always, highly sophisticated technologies are a little like describing a soup sandwich to readers. To put Permuto into perspective, the platform essentially accentuates e-commerce sites product presentation to the “inbound targeted consumer.” It does this by presenting display advertising of the products on the commerce site which have been determined to be the most sought after of that visitor. Pretty intuitive huh? But, like some precursors, Permuto’s variant, while vastly superior on the client side, still lacks the consumer side value to a degree. Sure, providing advertising that is highly relevant is a quality point for the consumer, but the platform still has a ways to go in presenting what is needed.
What does that mean? Well, I have thought about this for some time actually. Without giving away several million dollars more worth of ideas, suffice it to say the consumer needs much more. What is more? The presentation of products and services that is not only innovative, relevant and attractive, but which contains a huge element of credibility and trust. The long tail of this idea ends up being the best products and businesses winning out, while lesser products and services end up in bankruptcy or on the cheap bargain table.
The advent of the digital age has connected people so well, and with a scope beyond imagination. Just like my interjections into the Mommy Blogger, PR, technology and other venues suggests, advertising and business is, in a very real and undisputable way, destined to progress past the point of current mediocre modalities. A mouth full I know, but information is the most valuable commodity we can hope for in this realm. Information that is credible, valuable, and usable. Sure an e-commerce entity can engage millions via the Web, but in the end all this marketing and outreach has to come to progress. Permuto is beginning to solve the problem of exacting consumer engagement, but it has still done little to ensure value for buyers. This is the “holy grail” of the new consumer age.
This consumer end is a nebulous idea for a much needed commodity I know. Giving away too many ideas of how this should be done is not fiscally sound on my part, and even after careful consideration for some time, the concept is not fully worked out here either. T
he point is though, there are many great minds (like those at Permuto) working on this (or they should be). Permuto or any other company intent on making a bang on the market needs to come up with something like I have alluded to. Solving the problem for one end of the B2C without doing it for the other side is not sufficient, but these folks appear to be headed that way.
On the Web, the display of things (whichever media is used) is all there is. Permuto seems dedicated to this concept, but is obviously a ways off in its refinement. For my opinion on this product, I think it is well worth buying into as a first step toward the next phase of effective advertising.