Archives for posts with tag: display advertising


Yahoo!, the last traditional media company, is in deep trouble. Just like AOL, MSN and – dinosaurs founded in a time where media agencies had to manage scarcity. The Yahoo! Homepage used to be part of a digital media plan just like buying commercials during the NFL season for beer brands. Two things changed: ad networks, DSP’s and ad exchanges changed the focus of media agencies from placement buying to audience buying. And, more importantly, people are less interested in reading professional content and pay more attention to content created by their friends.

What is Yahoo’s response to a changed marketplace and customer behavior?

More content, more video, more, more, more. I wonder if Albert Einstein’s “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” has become Yahoo’s mission statement. More is not the answer. Traditional media companies will never be able to compete with the amount of content created on Social Networks, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Blogs, sites, Tumblr, etc. I’m not predicting the death of Yahoo!, nothing ever dies. VCR’s are still flashing “12:00” in millions of households, papers are being delivered to millions of door steps each morning and millions of faxes are being delivered each week. It took decades after the telegraph

was invented until the last telegraph was sent. (January 27, 2006, to be exact.) Yahoo! will be around for a long time to come. More irrelevant and less valuable by the day.

The demise of Yahoo! points to an important development

Online advertising is in the middle of a radical evolution but the majority of agencies/brands are acting as if it was still 2005. During that period, the majority of digital marketers were complaining about silos and the fact that they were cut off from the traditional campaign. Digital advertising had no place at the table and was not more than an afterthought: “Make sure the banner ad looks like the commercial.”

The disconnect is now between display advertising and social media

I see more integration between TV/Print campaigns and Social Media compared to Display Advertising and Social Media. The challenge is that Display Advertising continues to be deeply anchored in the world of Direct Marketing, creating a massive disconnect between that display advertising and Social Media. When your goal is to convert prospects into leads, a Social Media integration seems nothing than a silly distraction. Or, is it?

We’re reliving 2005 in the display advertising space: SEM/SEO is always at the table, Social Media the hot new toy and display advertising was relegated to the basement and algorithms.

What is the remaining value of media buying agencies?

The agency role in this new ecosystem will be re-evaluated by brands. The main challenge for media buying agencies will be their unique value proposition. It used to be access, buying power and custom tools. That competitive advantage is slowly disappearing because content created outside of traditional media properties gains importance and relevance over time.

The secondary challenge is the lack of trusted measurements. Ask 100,000 marketers about trusted and reliable measurements and you will get 150,000 answers. Is it impressions, clicks, conversions, engagement, connections – what the hell is it? It’s a lack of industry leadership but also a lack of confidence by agencies based on the fickle brands. “Oh, you focus on conversions? Sure, we can do that.”

Sorry, I don’t know the answer. I just have a lot of questions.

The marketing landscape continues to evolve rapidly. We’re still trying to answer the questions of 2005, while our clients expect us to answer the questions of 2012. As a industry, we need to find better ways to measure, to attribute and to communicate our value proposition to clients.

The conference season is upon us. I hope we can spend less time talking about case studies and acting as if we knew the answers. Instead, let’s ask more questions.


Wired called it last year: “The Web is dead. Long life the Internet.” Sounded a bit silly at that time but facts speak louder than an attention-grabbing headline: Flurry just released a study indicating that people spend more time on mobile apps than on the web.

Mashable reports:

“Flurry compared its mobile data to stats from comScore and Alexa, and found that in June, consumers spent 81 minutes per day using mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes of web surfing. The shift comes as combined table and smartphone shipments eclipsed those of desktops and notebooks for the first time (…) Flurry found consumers spend 9% more time, on average, using mobile apps. The report found that the growth in mobile app usage came mostly from more sessions per user, rather than longer sessions overall.

Those sessions, by and large, are consumed by the use of games and social media apps, which took 47% and 32% of the total amount of time used for such apps.”

Are marketers prepared for this tidal wave?

You’re not serious are you?

Our industry is busy to predict that by 2015 display advertising will account for 28% of all U.S. ad spending, overtaking search in 4 years. (Our own Jack Myers disagrees with this view sharply.) Agencies are knee-deep into developing ad exchanges and new ways to display customers to death while Google buys a platform.

Stop it right there. The web is on the decline while the industry is focusing on the growth of a dead platform?

Radio will be around in 10 years. Just like the Web.

Both won’t ever be as influential and profitable as they used to be. Let’s face it, we helped ruining the Web. We cluttered it with billions of ads, sometimes 20 banners on one page. We treated it like a gang member tagging the house of a rival gang member: Disrespectful, loud and obnoxious. No wonder people are retreating rather quickly and want to experience the more inviting environment of an app.

This is not a fluke.

Apple releases iOS 5 with this nifty feature: “Safari Reader is a new browser feature that will strip out distractions and present the text of a webpage with no other excess content.” (aka display ads…)

Will display advertising overtake search in 4 years?

Only if you look at the present through a rearview mirror, marching backwards into the future.

Looking forward, display advertising as we know it is not the answer. It never was. It was a temporary band-aid, nothing else. Cluttering apps with more display ads is not the answer either.

Here are a few pointers how to survive while apps start to strangle the Web:

· Understand how people are engaging with and consuming content in the mobile world. Understand how your message can be valuable and NOT annoying/intrusive.

· Put the user in control, let them control the interaction with the ad. Stop holding people hostage, keeping them captive. Let them free.

· Design for the medium. Let’s not repeat the Web mistakes we made: commercials became online videos, print ads transformed into display ads. Show respect to the medium.

· Have a strong value proposition and an even more intriguing Call -to-Action. Don’t ask for email addresses or other CRM tactics. Not in apps. Give people something valuable, something tangible, make it worth their while.

This change is not about to happen. It’s happening now. You need to develop strategies NOW to succeed in the future.

Unless you want your brand to go on life support.