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Monday, August 30, 2004The next generation of online ads promises the most targeted and trackable messages ever. Meet the future of advertising.In an advertising environment that has steadily weakened over the past three years, search marketing has breathed new life into online advertising by showing how powerful it can be when an advertiser catches a shopper's attention at that perfect moment when she is ready to buy.Advertisers rewarded the nascent industry by doubling its revenues in 2003 to the tune of $1.9 billion (a figure that is expected to jump again in 2004 to $2.8 billion dollars, says Forrester Research), or nearly one-third of all online advertising spending. And those hefty totals ring up in small increments: Expedia, for example, is the top bidder on Yahoo's service for "Miami vacation," paying 83 cents a lead.Three techniques are emerging that could push online ad revenues even higher: contextual ads, behavioral ads, and local ads.In pushing the envelope to make related text ads as ubiquitous as the 30-second TV spot, the search engines and the marketers that use them tap dance along a very fine line between what is helpful and what is obnoxious, what is exciting and what is simply in very poor taste.But contextual ads don't seem to target consumers as effectively as pure search ads.When you can select your target customer by geography, actual (not projected) buying patterns, and browsing behaviors -- and track the return on investment of each ad by following a customer from the time she is targeted to the time she makes the purchase -- it's hard to go back to fuzzy math and schmoozy ad salespeople. The technocrats will have the last laugh, even if it's at the marketers' expense.
|Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld