Monthly Archives: November 2011

Digital Advertising Trends

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

I delayed blogging about this AdWeek post immediately as I like to be certain there is stickiness to statements that inform readers of “trends” within any industry or a certain topic.   Everyone is an expert and in this rapidly changing online industry, there are more trends that we can shake an iStick at.

This short AdWeek article (list) brings together the same exciting convergence that is occurring on a macro level all around us in the world of digital media.  Trends: Digital Advertising, The six most transformative in online marketing. Although the discussions that followed the posting of these six significant trends were fairly slim on AdWeek’s site, one can quickly understand why these were chosen as hot button topics.

Click-Through-Rate-ChartThe death of the click through. Advertisers and publishers want this death to occur and for good reason. It’s not the way to measure success, especially for brand advertisers, even for those selling goods the old-fashioned way (driving foot traffic to brick ‘n’ mortar stores) and merchandising similar goods online. Arguments about what constitutes an effective click through rate or what drives the cost up or down will persist regardless of whom is to blame. What I believe is more important in this debate is what is a true ad impression, and on the other end of the transaction, what action results from the ad(s) and how can this all be tied together in a much tidier package for digital ad buying novices.

The merging of mobile and desktop. This has gone from being a side-by-side discussion to a singular one in a very short amount of time. Remember the days when we worried about sharing simple files between PC’s and Mac’s. Although there’s plenty of competing manufacturers, the demand for integration and a common platform remains too great for anyone to deny. I can’t wait for OSX and iOS to marry.

The persistence of supercookies. These things don’t travel like noroviruses, but it does call for a lot of discontent among web viewers. Just when we thought we had learned to live with “cookies” now we get a super concoction that behaves like a cockroach.

The beginnings of ad-tech consolidation. Every time I read about another consolidation deal, it comes with the promise of improvements in all aspects of our digital experience. Other than producing additional ad capabilities, and more talking points influencing stock prices, the ultimate result is stronger marketing clout.   While this is certainly not a situation where the horse has left the stable,  maybe the benefits will come simply in the form of  further media integration and cross-platform advertising improvements.

The rise of HTML5. I don’t know a lot about HTML5, but  I do know Adobe Flash has already grown a ZZ Top-like beard and is ready for the bone-yard.   When Apple says no to a format on their hottest mobile devices, it sends a signal across other platforms as well.

The value of specialized content. As with click through, specialized content can generate endless debate. Clearly the discussion around effectiveness of advertising and web sites themselves goes back to one singular element, content. Just as brands and products thrive when they are relevant, interesting, and desired, so too must the ads and the marketers who inhabit the web these days. Think about it, what sites you visit and how often and whether you purchase merchandise of any kind. Then, think about how valuable your digital footprint (or cookie) becomes, or how your endorsement of that brand or business can influence the way they make money.   I spend most of my online time in specialized areas of interest myself which can only be a good thing for those content providers, once they’ve figured out how to monetize the experience.

Check out AdWeek‘s summary of these six trends by Anthony Ha from October 18, 2011.