Marketers, especially those who spend their lives in search, will want to pay close attention in 2011 to a trend toward video and display ad platforms acting more like search marketing tools.
For Magnetic it's a natural transition, according to Magnetic Founder Josh Shatkin-Margolis. The company sells search retargeting, targeting for display ads based on search keywords through partnerships with engines. "Companies are going after search engine marketing budgets because the budgets are much larger, a $20 billion industry vs. display advertising, which is worth about $10 billion," he says.
Look at the landscape in online advertising. Ad exchanges, data exchanges and demand side platforms (DSP) are all about moving toward performance-based campaigns by better targeting ads to consumer. Shatkin-Margolis calls it "cherry-picking inventory" from hundreds of Web sites. Then compare the way search engine marketers buy ad space to display advertisers.
Display advertisers typically sign an insertion order and watch the process from afar. Very few self-serve display ad platforms exist. Search engine marketers look at Excel spreadsheets, individual keywords, performance by keywords, cost per acquisition target. The process becomes more focused on return on investment (ROI).
Google has shown the industry it's possible to make display ad buying more easily. So next year, SEMs will have the knowledge to relate better toward the new process of buying display and video ads than will display ad media buyers.
Separately, Efficient Frontier, iCrossing, and SearchIgnite, three large SEM agencies, have recently entered the display space. Some such as Marin Software also began supporting Facebook ads, which seems like a cross between search and display.
SEMs also will see processes and features for video display ad tools move more toward search marketing tactics. Mixpo offers tools that let advertisers swap out messages, day part, and schedule content to run in a specific geographic location. The interface is built on simplicity. The company also built a tool that lets television advertisers repurpose their content to run in video display ads online. We saw it in the movie industry as film moved to digital, allowing studios to repurpose material from the cinema screen to the iPad screen or computer screen.
As a search marketers, how comfortable are you buying display advertising? What tools do you think are missing in display and video advertising? How can companies that design display advertising make it easier for search marketers to buy search, display and video? After all, search doesn't live in a bubble and neither should you.
It's one reason I felt adamant why David Zinman, VP and GM of Yahoo display advertising, should keynote day two of the Search Insider Summit (SIS) next week in Park City, Utah. He's talk about the commonalities between search and display, as driving performance through optimization and customization of creative ads using search retargeting, CPC pricing, and more. Come join us.
Nice article. I think the concept that's driving all this convergence is that of "intent." Search marketing owned "intent" for many years, and it's only relatively recently that display ads could be targeted based on intent (and I don't mean "audience buying" or any other kind of statistical or analytical magic...I'm talking about retargeting and the like, where the advertiser has high confidence in the intent of individual prospects and can then work to convert them). Display used to be a passive endeavor -- you bought a bunch of impressions in the places you thought your prospects were spending time and prayed that some of them would click your ad. Small advertisers are risk-averse, so they stuck with search, which has much clearer ROI. But that has all changed, and now that display can leverage "intent," the risk of throwing your marketing dollars away on banner ads is rapidly shrinking. My company is tackling a part of the problem -- we let small advertisers quickly create high-quality display ads. We keep it simple and we don't throw a lot of high-tech features at our clients -- we just give them the tools to create a very nice ad in a few minutes so they can get their campaigns launched. If you throw too many dazzling features at small businesses that have grown accustomed to building simple text ads, they will balk and keep their online ad dollars in search where it's safe.
Display leverages intent. Yep, that's it. Hello Myles, Thanks for commenting. I think you're correct - "intent" will drive convergence. Marketers want to latch on to intent, and it's the intent that turns into conversions marketers can use to justify larger budgets.