Our industry is changing fast. We’re aware of that, and our technical team is hard at work coming up with new, more effective solutions to help advertising survive and content continue, in most cases, to be free. Advertising is the time-honored way to support content, but the invasive methods of some marketers have brought about a backlash.
Will advertising go away? Unlikely. There isn’t any other acceptable way to support media sites. And even e-commerce sites must attract customers. But advertising is due for the same kind of change publishing just negotiated. Using modern advertising technology, we have to target consumers in a way that is convenient and non-intrusive for them, and relevant for their needs.
Susan Wojcicki, the VP Advertising at Google, gave a talk at the IAB Digital Summit, wherein she defined the five drivers of digital advertising’s future. The first driver is choice. Users will be able to choose whether to view an ad. Even now, our full screen video ads on the web give the viewer an option to start the audio and move the ad to full screen. But this is only the beginning of providing choice to the viewer about whether to engage with the ad. The browser is a big player here. Most of the action around the future of advertising will concern the browser.
The second driver is control. Consumers will look at ads they deem relevant. It will be up to the ad tech industry to do its targeting correctly. And then we have to make the ads more interesting to look at. This demands better creative for digital advertising. In the old performance-driven world, ads were not particularly memorable unless they offered a way to convert instantly.Click here. In the world of brand advertising, the conversions are more indirect, but the advertising can be much more engaging. We may not be asking a viewer to click on anything.
Wojcicki also speaks of the need to target people, and not their devices. We as users should be able to get ads that are relevant to where we are and what we’re doing right now. If we’re mobile, restaurants might be appropriate. If we’re home, perhaps it is shoes.
And the fifth driver is calibration, or measurement. Everything will be measured. And not necessarily by page views or clicks. We are at the point where those measures of efficiency should be replaced by measures of effectiveness.
Wojcicki’s (and therefore Google’s) future vision takes into account recent industry-wide conversations on privacy, including the decisions of most mainstream browsers to turn on “Do not Track” as a default and block the use of third party cookies.
We can live in a world without third party cookies if we want to. We can live with “Do Not Track” turned on. The advertising industry just has to make its products more relevant to the users. And ZEDO must continue to develop products like high impact formats that help the visitor engage.