"Cell Me", I Mean "SELL Me"

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been talking publicly a lot lately, but no comment he has made is more significant than Schmidt's prediction that our mobile phones should be free. And he has a plan. Sell advertising -- which happens to be a Google speciality. Schmidt told a group at Stanford recently that mobile phones may never be entirely free even with advertising subsidies citing that newspapers still charge readers and they carry advertising. Nonetheless, the wall-to-wall world of advertising now has another potential frontier. This makes me question why very little is said about the effectiveness of advertising rather than the mere volume of it. This is the weak spot of the ongoing Internet advertising boom. Where is the concern for effectiveness? Generation Y is a tough market for all the many reasons we have mentioned time and again. Yes, they reside on the Internet. Yes, they may spend as much as as 10 hours a day talking, texting and using the web on mobile devices but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to master the art of online selling to them. I'm seeing a runaway obsession with finding new ways to put advertisements in front of a generation that doesn't want to spend money (unless they want something). And too little emphasis is placed on making them want something. True, they're young and haven't realized their full financial potential, but they are the richest young generation of all time. This Internet boom will be a bust if shortsighted marketers don't wake up to the complexities of monetizing the Internet. Just being there is impressive, but making the next generation buy -- priceless.