It’s an exciting time for the advertising and marketing technology world. WPP recently acquired up to 25% of Appnexus, Millennial Media just acquired Nexage, and Mozilla recently announced it was entering the advertising landscape (self promotion, I know).
I’ve participated in this ecosystem for a while now and have some big hairy questions for us all going forward. I think we should spend some time trying to think these questions through as an industry because we are all going to face it them.
What happens when we have five closed ecosystems?
You know, Google, Amazon, Apple, Baidu and Facebook. These companies are large enough to become “first party” and could redefine the advertising landscape. What happens to everyone else? How is measurement accomplished for agencies and advertisers when 3rd party isn’t allowed?
Advertising buyers haven’t thought of the browser much, but they will play an increasingly important role
Back on the agency side, I didn’t see many line items on our media plans specifically for Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera or Firefox but these might play a role moving forward. Default blocking of cookies, add-ons like AdBlock Plus, and others are impacting ad delivery and targeting.
At large, users are just not in control of their advertising experiences
I spend a lot of time meeting with advertising and marketing technology companies in our sector and I just don’t see the inclusion of user permission/control within the innovation. Imagine what the results would be if users actually were part of the process around making available the data they wanted marketers to react to.
The display category is much bigger than it was 4 years ago but are we setup to measure it?
Every couple of months a new ad unit is released and every few years, a new medium is created. Display media has evolved across mediums and units and is at an all-time high; and tomorrow, it’ll be even higher. Using some quick examples, we have display on Twitter, Pinterest, Firefox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Flipboard… all of which units didn’t exist 1,000 days ago.
We are entering a new wave of marketing and we’re buying the wrong metric
Reach and frequency are the wrong metrics for moving forward but they were the right metrics for yesterdays media buying. I believe we’re entering the Intention Economy (stolen from Doc Searls) where “intention holders” will be able to make spot markets and evolve the advertising equation. Why not? Why not. Technology has evolved and we’re starting to see the early infrastructure of this existing across Facebook and Uber.
Agencies will exist, they are just setup wrong for the future
One of the more popular questions that gets asked is whether or not agencies will exist in the future… and I certainly believe they will. Relationships are super important and managed service is not going away. However, agencies will change and morph. If we move into the “intention economy” and we have “intention holders,” who becomes the agency for the user? Who is the user agency?
These are just some of the questions that I’m thinking about – and are part of my industry breakfast conversations. I hope you are thinking about them too as they are going to impact the next five to ten years of our industry.