Back To School

August is already nearly half gone, and we are inching our way to the traditional back-to-school season while clinging to the last gasps of summer fun. 

The parallel to digital media is not entirely obvious, but it has been a summer filled with all manner of change.  Some of the changes are just bubbling up.   They are already beginning to force all of us back to school; we’ve got a lot of learning to do!  Herewith a compendium of summer activities bringing change our way -- some totally “inside baseball,” to borrow a summer metaphor, and others less so. crashed, but not the Curiosity rover. Internet technology caused a minor disappointment, but luckily spacecraft technology did not.  Is Mars finally within reach?  The geeks and the adventurers among us have cause to celebrate the rebirth of our space program.

More people are watching the Olympics, and the digital activity surrounding them is bringing new food for thought.  Are we on the threshold of consistently experiencing seminal television events on multiple screens? Does this mean that we are also reinventing the relationship between suspense, entertainment and enchantment?  We have less than one week until the Olympics end.  Perhaps after all the information and data are analyzed, we will know if the tipping point has arrived.

Election spending is already hitting hundreds of millions of dollars, filling the coffers of media outlets, using large amounts of inventory and potentially taxing our attention spans even before the conventions take place.  Are we about go from recessionary economics to “electionary medianomics”?

Viewable impression pilots are proceeding under the auspices of the Media Rating Council (MRC), and the ecosystem awaits results and decisions about transforming the currency of digital display advertising.  We will be training and retraining ourselves in many areas as we ramp up for change.  This particular issue brought me to the back-to-school theme.

What will be learning? Literally, the entire ecosystem will be learning new ways of creating, optimizing and segmenting digital display inventory.  The optimization will extend to optimizing the consumer experience with ads.  This could mean a renaissance of creativity in the ads themselves (happily, the IAB Rising Stars program is well on its way to beautifying our sites), and a renaissance in measuring the impact of brand advertising online. Consider the virtues of a denominator reflecting display ads that have an opportunity to be seen, and what that could do to impact scores.

Ponder the prospect of dramatic improvement to our workflow and our understanding of ad unit features, as the IAB, 4A’s and ANA jointly continue the work begun with our members as part of Making Measurement Make Sense.  Within the upcoming school year, we may well have a common lexicon for describing the wealth of digital ad unit features and begin mapping the path to testing which ones have the greatest impact on brand building.

Enjoy the waning days of summer!

3 comments about "Back To School".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, August 9, 2012 at 10:35 p.m.

    One hopes that our learning in the upcoming school year will include some Shakespeare for perspective.

    For example, as we ponder the prospect of an optimized, digital future in media and marketing, we might also ask ourselves whether Macbeth was speaking to us when he said:

    "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

    (The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

    Here's to a new Fall curriculum rich in real learning -- and true meaning.

    Here's to "Making Measurement Make Sense."

    Onwards and upwards!

  2. DG T from Viewthrough Measurement Consortium, August 12, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.

    Let's hope that its' zeal to "transform the currency of digital advertising" with viewable impressions, that the IAB/MMS pays some mind to the stepchild of digital ad measurement: viewthrough. It is really odd that despite being around for over 10 years, there is no standard definition of this very important metric.

    There is tremendous synergy between viewable impressions and viewthrough. However, if viewable impressions moves forward without also addressing viewthrough, the industry could potentially be stuck obsessing about clickthrough rates for another 15 years. Think about it: CTR could get a second lease on life due to the artificial one-time bump caused by measuring off the new and now smaller base of viewable ads.

    Several digital ad leaders are tired of waiting and taking matters into our own hands:

  3. Brad Tonyes from xplusone, August 15, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.

    It is all about measurement across all customer touch points. [x+1] is the only marketing technology provider to combine a leading enterprise Data Management Platform (DMP) with multi-channel execution capabilities powered by a patented real-time decision engine, Web Services APIs, and advanced analytics.

    Known as the [x+1] Origin Digital Marketing Hub, this unique combination of capabilities allows marketers to synchronize their messages to consumers across a broad range of channels: websites, display, landing pages, email, SMS, direct mail, chat, and call centers in real time, thus maximizing campaign performance and ROI in a consistent, repeatable, and measurable way.

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