Why Advertising's Future Might Be Too Futuristic For Advertisers

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I'm not convinced advertisers are ready for the future of advertising, where social signals and metrics become more important than clicks, half of all ad buys rely on real-time bidding, and 75% of ads have some sort of social feature. The majority of marketers and advertisers I meet comprehend the possibilities that technology brings advertising, but not many know how to execute on the strategies.

Technologists must lend a hand to marketers and advertisers as the industry moves forward. Metrics will become more important than clicks. Neal Mohan, vice president of product management at Google, and Barry Salzman, managing director of media and platforms at Google, made seven bold predictions Tuesday at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX Conference 2010 in New York. One presented five metrics the ad industry will use to measure the success of campaigns by 2015, and a variety of future applications.

One application uses Google Goggles, YouTube and Teracent technology. The technology lets consumers take a picture with the camera on their smartphone to search on Google. The two demonstrated how consumers could merge print with online advertising with a click. The feature integrates virtual reality and turns the image into 3D, providing pricing and specs for the car. It not only provides images of the product, but more information to help consumers make a smarter buying decision.

While some of those metrics are available now, it may become more difficult than Google execs think to introduce the newer metrics. MediaMind Global Director of Media Innovation Dean Donaldson believes advertising and marketing execs are stuck on the traditional method to measure success. But they had better get their head out of the sand.

Some ad execs aren't aware of future measurements, metrics and options for online and digital advertising because they're still arguing about if people click on ads, Donaldson says. "We're in this crazy situation where visionaries are 10 steps ahead talking about spiting the difference between near field communication and radio frequency identification technologies," he says. "But there are many people in agencies who still think consumers should see display ads and click on them."

As much as the industry sees this exciting vision, there are fundamental steps the industry needs to take to get there. Last year the steps required the industry to create open platforms to connect a fragmented industry.

Future steps include:

1) Measurements must align in display ads against consumer behavior such as dwell time or passive or active engagement.

2) Make processes within agencies quicker and easier through technology.

3) One system for all inventory processes.

Agency reps have been spending too much time cutting and pasting into and out of Microsoft Excel. So, MediaMind created a dashboard to centralize all information for media buyers. It aims to simply the process of managing ad campaigns across Facebook, mobile, display and email. It also helps buyers find audiences.

The MediaMind version 2.0 product launch this week focuses on tackling the immediate tasks at hand, which Donaldson will address at Digital Experience Day (DED). He says it's necessary for agencies to embrace this concept now to manage any kind of future change as digital and traditional media converge, and look at "smarter' ways of engaging consumers." But that's really only the beginning.

The advertising industry will face serious issues if technologists don't step up to nurture this transition.

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2 comments about "Why Advertising's Future Might Be Too Futuristic For Advertisers".
  1. Shawn Riegsecker from Centro, LLC , September 29, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.

    This is a timely column with respect to the future of online advertising. The biggest issue confronting the industry is the over-indulgent and hyper-focus on strict audience buying, click-through and conversion-based metrics at the expense of what builds great and successful brands. Our industry has swung the pendulum too far to the analytical right and lost its way with how to build great brands resonate with consumers for a lifetime. This intense focus on data and not the brand essence and image is a hollow and desolate path that leads to the loss of brand identity and slowly declining market share.

    I refer to the next decade as "the rise of the creatives". GREAT positioning, messaging and creative is what builds brands consumers want to own and associate with which is what increases market share and conversions. Unfortunately, the online world attempted to marginalize the value of creative (and the creative geniuses in our industry), which has hurt online industry adoption by advertisers.

    The future will see a return to the understanding of the need to build a brand for the long run, not for the 18 month tenure of the average CMO. The brands who understand this will win significantly over the next 10 years. Those who invest solely based on metrics and conversion will lose.

    We need to place our industry creative talent back on the pedestal they deserve.

  2. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing , September 30, 2010 at 10:19 a.m.

    I think we all adapt Laurie. No advertising developments of the last 15 years in my opinion have changed marketing very much. I think most was created by the Ad Industry itself to snow Brands out of dollars. Today I am going to the Supermarket. 90% of all brands there do no advertising. I have coupons and a club card. I cut the coupons from my Sunday circulars. Most are for well known name brands. I only buy when there is a store sale + I have a coupon. I also prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke. But today the one that is on sale I will buy.

    I did go to an online coupons site to download a few coupons. I also have gone to specific brand sites that I know allow me to print discounts. So this little paragraph covers 15 years. The rest is no different than 1995.

    My point being as marketing technologies evolve we will adapt all of us from Brands to consumers to Agencies. The market is also fragmenting in how people are reached. A media post survey recently showed over 40% are fans on Facebook only for discounts. Which really means if you focus on a Great Product at the right price you will never have to discount! anywhere!