Brian McConnell at GigaOm gave a great post today on why advertising, especially online advertising, isn't working ask expected. His position is that too many companies have given over their marketing strategy to the engineering departments, who are granularizing advertising and content to death.
"Sometimes, people just like to shop," he explains simply.
I'm not an advertising guy even though I understand the value of advertising in subsidizing the distribution of real information. And I have to admit, that sometimes I forget that advertising is a form of information, no matter how biased. What's getting me on this kick today is the realization that Twitter is turning us all into advertising copywriters.
Twitter isn't much more than ad copy. Everyone on it is selling something be it a position, an image and often a product. They are trying to express in as few words as possible and idea that will get some traction. Some people seem to be better at it than others.
And people who spend time reading tweets are, in essence, shopping for something interesting. So it's true, people like to shop. And for tweeters, the most successful are the ones that reach the biggest audience, not the ones that reach only the "customers" they know.