Three Things Changing Online Advertising in Three Years

1. Geomobile Ads Meet Big Brother

89% of retail sales still take place in brick & mortar locations. The Wall Street Journal just wrote about how the government no longer needs a warrant to track your location with e911 capability on mobile phones. Now imagine you're within 200 yards of a car dealer, and you stay in that location for 30 minutes. Forty-eight hours later, you're within 200 yards of two more car dealers for at least 30 minutes. Based on lat/long and a simple database of car dealer addresses, big brother can assume you're in the market for a car. And a consumer exhibiting purchase intent yields a high ROI for advertisers.

At the next car dealer, when you pull out your smartphone, a semi-transparent ad/offer will hover over your screen no matter what you're doing: email, text, phone, or surfing. The ad will be courtesy of Google, Facebook Mobile, or a partnership of FourSquare and the triumvirate of Yahoo, AOL, and MSFT. Semi-transparent CPG ads/offers will show up in your smartphone at the grocery store, semi-transparent Subway ads will show up at Wendy's, and Verizon Wireless ads will show up when you're at AT&T.

The icing on the cake: Behavioral surfing data from your tablet or laptop at home will sync and transfer to your smartphone (from Android and Facebook Mobile) to make geomobile behavioral targeting more accurate. Big brother, yes. Will it happen? Indeed.

2. Attribution Bucks Last Click Measurement

In a recent TechCrunch TV segment, Internet veteran Chris Dixon interviewed Kevin O'Connor, the co-founder of DoubleClick, and aptly described that, "the Internet advertising system is broke because we don't do attribution correctly." Meaning, if 15 ads contribute to a conversion, our industry's tracking systems erroneously give 100% credit of the conversion to the last ad, ignoring every other ad which originated and assisted the transaction. And the co-founder of DoubleClick, aptly agreed, "Yes, that was always a problem." Last click measurement amounts to 30-45% waste in online advertising. Once last click is replaced by the attribution model, advertisers will see greater ROI, and more ad dollars will flow online.

3. Retargeting Doubles Google Stock Price Today, almost every small business with a Web site is using Google Search Engine Marketing trying to get people to their site. Soon, we'll see an improved AdWords interface where uploading banner creative will be easier, and Google will even recommend a handful of graphic designers to create your banners for $100-$300.

Just as PPC has become the norm for many small businesses, retargeting from Google will become understood by all, easy to adopt, and the new norm for those still finding their way online. Look for their stock to double.

Mark Hughes is CEO of C3 Metrics. Previously he grew eBay's from zero to 8 million online customers as its VP of Marketing in less than three years. Hughes' book Buzzmarketing is published in 15 languages.

1 comment about "Three Things Changing Online Advertising in Three Years ".
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  1. Rhonda Campbell from NA, September 30, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.

    The idea of tracking folks just to possibly land a sale doesn't sit right with me. Are some business owners viewing humans as walking dollar bills? People who genuinely care about people are the ones who are truly onto something. And you can be a successful business owner and pull that off. Run a sale on winter coats so folks can afford a thick coat and avoid going cold while snow and ice cover the ground, lower the cost on natural foods to encourage healthy eating, etc. It can be done.


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