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Marketers/advertisers usually focus their efforts on the people responsible for making the purchase. In many cases, this is an effective approach but in other cases it can make for a totally useless marketing campaign.

Virgin Mobile took a more effective approach in marketing their cell phone service by focusing not on the people that would be making the actual purchase, but instead focusing on the influencers of the people making the purchase. To make this campaign work, Virgin developed a viral website called Parental Enlightenment Kit which offers many tips (often fairy funny ones) to convince their parents to purchase a Virgin Mobile phone for them. By enlisting the teenagers Virgin has multiplied the effectiveness of their marketing campaign for 3 reasons:

1. The teenagers will continually mention the phone/service to their parents until they get it – Virgin’s campaign will continue to work long after the teenager has left the computer.

2. This approach is exactly the type of thing that spreads virally. As teenagers tell their friends about it, it will increase exponentially in it’s effectiveness.

3. They have targeted the most likely decision maker rather than the person responsible for the purchase.

Companies in other industries have take the same approach and achieved amazing results. For example, Pfizer targeted men with erectile disfunction (a more PC term for impotence) rather than the doctors who would actually prescribe the drug (Viagra) to treat it. You can take the same approach to market your product/service and reap tremendous rewards.

There are several ways people can make money online. From selling products to advertising. In this article I am going to explain the concept of contextual advertising.

First I will explain what contextual advertising is. Contextual advertising means the advertising of products on a website according to the content the page is displaying. For example if the content of a website was information on a Ford truck then the advertisements would be for Ford trucks for sale, or Ford servicing etc. It picks up the words on the page and displays ads that are similar to those words. Then when someone either performs an action or clicks on your page you will get paid.

Who can use contextual advertising on their website? Any one with content. Real content. Meaning not links or pictures but word content. There are several companies out there that offer contextual advertising programs. Some of the big ones include Yahoo and Google. Although Yahoo contextual advertising is currently only open to US publishers.

Contextual advertising programs sometimes have strict policies that need to be adhered too. Let’s take Google as an example. As mentioned above Google ads can only be placed on pages that have content on them. The most important rule when using contextual advertising is DO NOT click on your own ads. Google has terminated many publishers accounts due to this rule not being followed and have gone to court several times regarding this “click fraud”.

Contextual advertising can be profitable. It can either pay for your hosting and maintenance costs for your website or it can pay for a lot more. There are several people that are making thousands a month from contextual advertising. It all depends on the amount of traffic your website has and the manner in which you place the ads on your page. If you place them in prominent places on your pages then you can expect to earn more.