Marketers, Get Ready: ‘All Advertising Soon Will Be Digital’

From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

The constant battle between TV viewers who want to watch their favorite shows when and where they want broadcast and cable networks that want to maintain their lucrative linear-TV business model is just the tip of a digital media iceberg. Fact is, people want to view all kinds of content, whether it’s TV shows, movies, games, or blogs and magazine stories, wherever they want. Inconveniently, that’s not necessarily on media companies’ own websites, where they make most of their money from advertising.

As a result, marketers and publishers alike are gradually realizing they need to reach people through their advertising on whatever site, app, or device they’re using, not just where they’d like them to be. At a recent event held by Google’s DoubleClick display-ad business, a couple of prominent online media executives said they’re well on the way to doing just that.

On the stage at the Google event were moderator Terry Kawaja, CEO of boutique investment bank Luma Partners; Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display advertising; Weather Channel (and former adman) CEO David Kenny; and Disney Interactive Media Group Co-President Jimmy Pitaro. Here’s what they had to say about how they’re dealing with the challenge.

Q: Is a $200 billion display ad prediction [made by Mohan last year] just wishful thinking?

Kenny: It’s not wishful thinking at all. The mistake is in assuming it’s in advertising units that exist today. The $200 billion could be $300 billion or $400 billion if it’s more of service to the consumer.

Q: It feels like the digital channel is still an adolescent. Isn’t a lack of new formats the problem? …

Read the rest of the post at The New Persuaders.

Google: Let’s Make Display Ads As Compelling As TV

From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

Google made a renewed bid last week to control much of the online advertising business it doesn’t already own with a revamped display ad buying system. At a semi-private event (livestreamed here) held by its DoubleClick display-ad unit, Neal Mohan, VP of display advertising products for Google, debuted the system to advertisers, agencies, and publishers.

Mohan also provided his perspective on what’s needed next to make display advertising easier to create and buy. His comments, which I ran out of time to post after the announcement, remain especially relevant today given Facebook’s announcement on June 13 that it would soon launch its own Facebook Exchange to allow marketers to reach audiences on Facebook for the first time using data they’ve collected about their browsing habits. That puts Facebook in more direct competition with Google for marketers looking to reach audiences online.

Here are the highlights of Mohan’s keynote:

Some 60% of the ads on YouTube are TrueView ads, for which advertisers are charged only if they’re viewed. That’s a sign of where display is going, toward measuring actual impact rather than theoretical impressions.

He says engaging ads such as larger display ads and those that are larger than the standard units are getting up to twice as much engagement. He thinks engagement rates, or the time people spend looking at an ad, should rise 50% in coming years.

To do that, he says, we need better integration across these tools and better measurement.

The first principle is that digital marketing should be as easy as “press and play.”

None of these tools has worked together very well. It’s like a stereo system used to be, with lots of separate components connected by a mess of wires. All of that has been replaced today by smartphones. In short, he says, that’s what Google wants to do with digital marketing. …

Read the complete post at The New Persuaders.

Google Makes Renewed Grab for the Rest of Online Advertising

New DoubleClick ad system heats up battle to create an operating system for digital marketing

Cross-posted from my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Hundreds of well-funded online ad technology companies have sprouted up in recent years, each aiming to make it easier and more efficient for marketers to reach just the target audience they want.

Terence Kawaja, CEO of boutique investment bank Luma Partners, created this now-famous Display Lumascape to show how complex the online ad tech industry has become.

Yet the result is a crazy quilt of companies–graphically illustrated in that mess of a chart on the right–that drives marketers and agencies crazy. The very existence of so many competing products, in fact, has made placing ads online and measuring their impact more complicated and cumbersome than ever. “Venture capital has supported and financed a bunch of chaos,” advertising veteran Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the trade group Interactive Advertising Bureaugriped at a recent ad conference.

The result: Most ad dollars, nearly $200 billion a year, still get spent on television because it’s so much easier.

That’s the problem Google aims to solve with a revamped ad buying system it will announce today at a private Future of Advertising event hosted by its DoubleClick display-ad management and technology unit. (Part of the event will be livestreamed here.) The company, which already dominates 60% of the online ad business–those little text ads that appear on the right and top of the page when you do a search–now has its sights set on the remaining 40% of the industry. That would be the $25 billion worldwide market for display ads, the graphical and video banners familiar on virtually every commercial website.

Google’s goal: Provide the leading one-stop shop for advertisers and publishers to buy ads on websites, mobile phones, social networks, apps, and whatever other new media the Internet spawns. Essentially, it’s building an operating system for ads much like Microsoft did with its Windows for PCs–with much the same appeal to marketers and agencies as Windows has for PC users. “When you’re putting together a campaign, you want everything connected vs. trying to piece it all together,” says Kurt Unkel, president of the online ad buying operation at Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi digital ad agency, a Google partner.

Google’s announcement is the latest salvo in a war to control the next era of digital marketing. After a decade in which Google’s search ads overtook display ads with an unmatched ability to turn clicks directly into sales, many advertisers and publishers expect–or at least hope for–a resurgence of new kinds of display ads that could woo brand advertising dollars from TV. Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display advertising products, has predicted that display will be a $200 billion industry in a few years.

Read the rest of the story at The New Persuaders.

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