This post was originally posted over at MetaMuse, Jordan's blog ...
Any of you who keep up on the online advertising market through
related blogs, articles, etc. have certainly noticed the rapidly
developed "ad network shakeout" meme. The story goes like this -- as
the economy worsens, companies will continue to decrease their
marketing/advertising budgets, and the hundreds of new ad networks that
have popped up over the last few years will have to compete more
vigorously for the diminishing dollars available, thus resulting in a
shakeout where many won't survive.
While I'm in full agreement,
and feel their survival depends on technology, targeting and
optimization (an ROI differentiation), that's another post altogether.
But I did want to note a few smart comments I read recently, made by
folks within ad networks. Philip Smolin of Turn notes in this article:
Some media buyers still think of contextual and behavioral targeting as
separate ‘silos’ – you choose one or the other, but you don’t use both
at the same time. And in fact most advertising platforms don’t enable
you to combine them even if you want to. But in reality both are very
powerful predictors of advertising performance – you get better results
when you combine the power of the two.
Some of our algorithms at Others Online
combine the power of both contextual and behavioral, and we've also
found this to improve results. Contextual targeting (behavior now)
generally outperforms behavioral targeting (past behavior) except when
page context is just really bad. And it's just logical to reinforce
your contextual targeting with behavior you've seen in the past.
Who’s going to survive? The platforms with unique technology or
differentiated solutions that make advertising more effective – they’re
going to thrive. Behavioral will be a key component because of its
effectiveness in display advertising.
has always been about display advertising, and yes it will be key. But
what about text ads and other keyword-based (not category-based)
targeting? I find it interesting (and exciting) that Others Online is
the only company today offering behavioral targeting technology for keyword-based ad inventory.
Another interesting comment made by Joe Apprendi, CEO of Collective Media at Behavioral Insider (link requires password/registration, unfortunately):
It used to be people bought
media with a site-centric mentality. It was a legacy of the print
planning and buying business. You looked at what sites indexed or
reached your target. Today that site-centric mentality probably
represents about 70% of the overall display media spending. But there
really is a shift going towards this audience-centric buying
methodology. Marketers and largely brand advertisers are recognizing
that there are alternative ways to reach target audiences. We
believe that no matter what the overall demand for display media, there
is a shift happening from site-centric buying, which is usually more
expensive and the softest area of the display market. It is going from
70% to 50% very fast. A lot of that is reliable behavioral targeting,
not absolutely dependent on what site you are running on.
agree more. If I'm an advertiser, I'm only interested in reaching an
audience with certain product/market-oriented affinities -- otherwise
it's just a waste of an impression ("spray and pray"). I hear this a
lot from ad networks, and it's frustrating them because most of them
have NOT indexed their audience -- they've only indexed the sites in
their publisher network.
Since our last company milestones post, we've continued to expand our footprint. In the past few weeks we've more than doubled the number of affinity profiles in our system -- to more than 12 million! And we should double that again over the next few weeks. In the last week we've signed 3 new partner contracts representing over 70M uniques per month. Plus, as a result of a productive trip to Ad:Tech in NY last week, we've got many more interesting deals in the pipeline and further deployments planned over the course of the next 1-2 months.