Last week I made the statement that the majority of online video networks either serve video into existing ad units or are manually attaching video spots like 30-second commercials into existing video content. That set off a flurry of responses from such companies as Scanscout, Tremor Media, Eyeblaster, Broadband Enterprises and a new start-up called QMeCom. Each of these folks professes to be capable of dynamically ad-serving video spots into video content based on cookie profiles or behavioral data. I did take a peek at each of their newest products and they do appear to be delivering these services to advertisers within their existing networks of inventory, By using an ad tag from Doubleclick, Atlas or any of the major ad-servers, you can track these units in your digital dashboard for ad management and reporting. I can't speak on the performance of any of these, as I have not tested them, but at least you know where to look.
That being said, I also received just as many responses from the other side of the debate, where advertisers were unaware of this development -- so I don't feel that I was in the minority on this topic. One such response stated, "boy did you hit the nail on the head... this issue is definitely front and center with everyone." Another response asked, "Is there anyone who can offer these services soon?" If other people feel the same way as I was feeling, is it possible that we are not doing as strong a job as we can at distributing information quickly?
Our industry changes at a lightning-fast pace and these developments need to be discussed on a larger scale -- larger than one company to one company in a new business pitch. The folks who contacted me asked if I would take a meeting, and though I'd love to take every meeting that I have been offered, there's only so much time in the day.
How can we ensure that everyone is trained and educated on all the developments in our industry? Is it enough to ask all planners and buyers to stay on top of the news and read through the press releases? Is there a way to provide them a stronger resource that keeps them on top of new developments in technology? I wonder if there's a way the current industry organizations, whose purpose it is to standardize and distribute the models to our peers, can come up with some way to work together for an education and training platform. These organizations trying awfully hard, but maybe we need to help them out a bit.
Agency people are in the best position because they are located at the nexus for ideas. They are where the various vendors come to pitch their wares, and they are tasked to write white papers and topical pieces on the status of technology and vendors. How can the agency people partner with these industry organizations to publish a forum for the industry where information can be shared and new entrants can go to see if they are being considered? New Web sites have @plan and Comscore. New, emerging and updated technology has... nothing?
I believe in the concept "all ships rise with the tide," and I like to think of myself as relatively informed in the category, but if I am asking the questions and other people are supporting my opinions, is it possible that the issue lies not in the technology, but in the updated message surrounding the technology? I am more than happy to admit when I don't have the information, as I did above -- but how can we all work together to ensure that everyone has all the relevant information and that everyone is playing with a full deck?
Education and training. Education on the status of the technology, and training to help implement the technology: This is my request, and I am happy to help us all figure it out!
Have you seen anyone who can help? Do you have any ideas?