_This article is by guest contributor Karel Wegert._
Google’s continuous domination in the pay per click arena has, with the exception of the “Yahoo Search Marketing”:http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/ product (formerly the Overture network), been relatively unchallenged. In April of 2004 however, a new product called IntelliTXT was launched by “Vibrant Media”:http://www.vibrantmedia.com in an attempt gain some market share in the ever-growing pay per click industry.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the IntelliTXT product, it allows advertisers to have related keywords hyperlinked within the actual content of contextually-relevant websites. This approach differs vastly from most other forms of online advertising in that it intrudes on the _copy_ that appears on a website, regardless of the author’s intentions. Typically, online advertising has appeared in a far less intrusive manner (though perhaps not in the eyes of consumers…), normally noticeably marked as such and surrounding website content rather than being laced into it.
Perhaps the most irritating appearances of IntelliTXT can now be found on online message forums and web communities. Web forums are normally one of the most pure and authentic sources for an educated shopper to find unbiased opinions regarding his or her potential product choices. What IntelliTXT creates is a pollution of these opinions, the actual intent of the authors never being taken into consideration. In fact, in some instances you can find posted conversations regarding the negative aspects of a certain product, with a link to that product front and centre. This offers little benefit to the reader or the advertising company, and illustrates how off the mark IntelliTXT can be. An example of a large Canadian forum that uses IntelliTXT can be found at “Montreal Racing’s Forums”:http://forums.montrealracing.com/.
Normally media buyers and planners should welcome competition into the pay per click market as a new way to reach your target market. However, in the case of IntelliTXT, marketers should be wary of the shadow that a controversial product such as this may cast on your product. If anything, the emergence of IntelliTXT can be seen as a demonstration of how well Google has done with their Ad Words and Ad Sense campaigns. In order to compete, new companies are being forced to compromise the integrity of user content on the website they are targeting.
With an entrepreneurial background, Karel Wegert has a broad range of experience in both traditional and interactive marketing. He spent the last 4 years as VP of marketing with an automotive accessory company, where he developed strategies to move the company’s product line from traditional distribution channels to an exclusively online operation. Karel’s experience extends from media planning and buying, CRM campaigns, and corporate re-branding, to Web, logo, and ad design. He can be reached at .