Sign of the times: Visa’s new ad campaign

Sign of the times: Visa’s new ad campaign.
This is the clearest example I’ve seen of the right way to do non-mass media marketing via the Web. MediaDailyNews reports that Visa USA has teamed up with Microsoft Corp.‘s MSN on a new online campaign to promote its Visa Extras program to small businesses.

The custom program features a dedicated Web site for small businesses, and is promoted via ads throughout the MSN network.

The Your Business site — http://yourbusiness.msn.com — was built to help Visa target small businesses of 10 or less employees, offering them relevant advice and tips. The Visa Extras program invites businesses to earn points toward a variety of rewards when they use an enrolled eligible Visa Business debit or credit card to make certain types of purchases. An on-screen “session strip” offers additional tips and news, and a link back to the Your Business site. The strip can remain at the top of the screen during visitors’ browsing sessions even after they leave the Your Business site.

The beauty of this is that Visa is targeting a very specific niche, small businesses, and the ads route people to a niche-specific Website, not to some monolithic “Visa” Website.

Mass marketing is a dead horse, and this is the way of the future. The proof, of course, will be in the program’s success, but Visa is doing everything right here. Online-at-work is a rapidly growing subset of the Internet. The company has recognized that and is attacking the niche brilliantly.

Television can — and should — be doing the same thing.

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