Using data to make better business decisions is nothing new but since 2008, it’s been a very hot topic. It’s been covered in almost every issue of Advertising Age, a whole new web destination now exists: AdExchanger, and agencies spun up new trading desks that are essentially high powered SWAT teams that combine rich data-sets with media for exceptional results.
Google has built a $154 billion company based on the use of lots of data to make the right decisions for it’s advertisers. The data sets that Google are using are based off of search queries, which one can argue is one of the most powerful data sets that exist as it’s pure “hand raising.” Over the past ten years, the big search engines have integrated with search engine marketing platforms such as Marin and Kenshoo to provide access to that marketers and agencies can use these tools to make better decisions which should improve performance and create workflow efficiencies (amongst many other reasons).
The trend we are going to see in 2H2010 and certainly in FY2011 is the emergence of these tools within the display, video, and mobile world and combining SEM with them. While I can’t speak for any one tool directly due to confidentiality reasons, we are going to see many of these once SEM-only players move upstream to capture additional ad dollars and to use all-data (search+display+video+mobile, etc) to make better decisions.
As illustrated below, agencies such as Efficient Frontier are moving into this space as well, as well as, tools/platforms are integrating into biddable display sources. These are not the only companies moving into the space but are illustrative of the trend.
What does this mean for the standalone display side platforms? For the standalone SEM platforms?
An operational hurdle that will have to be addressed within the media agency world is that search and display is generally bought from two separate groups so either a) these groups will need to be combined or b) we need to provide clear roles and rules for each group. I think option (a) is a much better choice as I’m all for integration.