Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Future of Web Advertising

A good post on the future of web advertising. What I've been thinking for a long time is how effective can the adsense/adwords model be with ads being splashed across thousands of web sites. Sure it is a very profitable one that everyone wants in on, but a far more important question is how effective is this.  Is online advertising just in it's infancy and poised to mature?

As outlined in the article, there is a trend towards niche marketing using vertical ad/content networks such as Glam.com. It is no surprise why content networks such as b5media have very little or no adsense advertising on their sites since they have the luxury of offering advertising inventory to a very targeted demographic.

Starcom, Tacoda and comScore were involved in an interesting study that suggests 6% of the online population accounts for 50% of all display ad clicks. These heavy clickers are also not representative of the online population as they tend to be between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income of under $40,000, and further, they spend about 4x more time online than non-heavy clickers.

For those involved in brand marketing, take note of the following:

"Further preliminary Starcom data suggests no correlation between display ad clicks and brand metrics, and show no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked.  The research presentation suggests that when digital campaigns have a branding objective, optimizing for high click rates does not necessarily improve campaign performance."

For web advertising to mature, it will require a unique blend of technology, consumers, marketers and advertisers, to demand better targeting and metrics. 

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