AIDA. Not the opera, steps to a sale. Awareness. Interest. Desire. Action. That’s what marketing is all about. If you are hiking and come off the trail parched and hit a roadside store for water this process goes very quickly in the water section. If you’re shopping for a car, it goes much more slowly and thoughtfully.

Targeted selling has changed through history. Not to go all pony express on you, but from storefront to catalog, to door-to-door and print media, then electronic, DR and now online — things keeping creeping toward targeting perfection. As the large cable companies get together through Project Canoe trying to figure out a way to maximize ad serving on TV, the business is on the verge of another whoosh in ad ROI.
We at Zude (the social computing platform I work for) have in our future an even greater plan for targeting ads. Each Zude page contains a multitude of objects. Text is an object, pictures are objects, video, audio, etc.  By knowing what these objects are and analyzing them, we can serve up pretty tight ads. An example: if you have a Zude page with lots of hiking pictures (many labeled “trail”) we might serve up a tent ad. We promise to make it non-obtrusive and welcome.  More efficient ad serving, shrinks the AIDA process down, and gets consumers to Action faster.