Interesting thoughts from Chris Dixon re: what parts of the online marketing funnel are being monetized. He points out, rightly, that the folks at the very end of the funnel (i.e. search advertising) are the only ones winning right now, whereas people further up the funnel like content sites – who help create the demand that predicates the click – are left out in the cold.
What do you do about that? There is one answer that’s hideously tricky, which would involve tracking consumer behavior leading up to a click and correlating it to the sites they’d read prior to a given monetization event. That would be a real beast, and frankly it’s not even clear how the monetization would work even if you could identify that, say, a Pogue post had generated lift of X% of iPod sales. What’s in it for Google, relative to where they stand right now?
The other issue is, even if you could do this it would immediately destroy the wall between editorial and advertising, which may be inevitable but is a problem nonetheless.
Need to mull this one over some more, it’s an interesting insight without an immediately clear answer.