10 Things You Need To Know About Ad Networks

After the gold rush, the fight will be about what's left – now that the land grab is over

1. “Each primary category,” says Cory Treffiletti, president and managing general partner of Catalyst SF, “has its leaders and there is little room for competition. Meanwhile, the existing leaders will grow slowly.”

2. And marketing networks will be the new ad networks. “The online marketing industry has begun adopting a new cross-platform marketing opportunity of both paid and nonpaid media,” Treffiletti explains, “where consumers are viewed as individuals, not as a collection of eyeballs or people with shared interests, such as travel or buying a car.”

3. Traditional ad networks willcontract, says Sarah Baehr, vice president of media at Avenue A | Razorfish. Meanwhile, “large publishers, such as the Fox Audience Network and Turner Entertainment, will continue to take back control of their inventory, helping them monetize themselves, as well as work with fewer ad networks to ensure quality and maximize pricing value.”

4. “People are saying, ‘I need to know more when I do something.’ They absolutely need to understand the price and where we’re getting it from. Transparency and the fairness of a marketplace will be the big breakthrough,” says Iggy Fanlo, CEO of AdBrite Inc.

5. “Buyers will focus on the networks that can deliver scale,” says Jason Glickman, CEO of Tremor Media. “It’s going to be about who can deliver the biggest bang for the buck — marketers will experiment less with new players.”

6. “As social media, blogs and user-generated video become more acceptable, and the ads can be displayed in an appropriate environment, there will be greater demand for it,” says Joe Apprendi, CEO of Collective Media.

7. But take it slow: “It’s becoming increasingly more important to ensure that you are not running in inappropriate content,” Apprendi says.

8. Search performance has always been tied to search activity. But now marketers realize they need to understand the value of the impression — not just the click — and know where the impression came from.

9. “No one’s going to buy a hamburger over the Internet. But if you give [brand marketers] a hook, such as click-through rates, they’re going to use it,” Fanlo says. To truly see whether they’ve achieved their brand goals, they should use the same measurements they use for radio, print and TV, Fanlo says, and not try to fit a square peg into a round hole.

10. Publishers who have traditionally monetized their inventory through ad network sales recognize that the audience asset they have created has market value. “Networks that recognize publishers’ ‘rights’ to their audience and compensate them for this data will thrive in a data-driven environment,” says Jeffrey Hirsch, president and CEO of Revenue Science.

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