Top Online Predictions for 2009

December 11, 2008


predict1Growth in mobile advertising 

Yes, it’s probably featured on every prediction list for the past several years, but ’09 is almost certain to see significant expansion in mobile advertising. Technology, increasing bandwidth and smart phone ubiquity have brought us to the point where engaging mobile campaigns are no longer just pipe dreams. Marketers in ’09 are likely to increasingly leverage direct response opportunities on mobile.


M&A – bargain hunters out on the prowl

I don’t think any economic commentators are expecting conditions to improve markedly in ’09. Fledgling businesses are going to struggle to get second or third round funding and many established businesses are going to see falling valuations. We should expect M&A activity as companies with good liquidity go bargain hunting.


Migration to more measurable channels

This one is happening now is certain to continue into ‘09. As marketing budgets get squeezed, money will continue to flow out of brand led channels and into direct response.


Ad network consolidation

A cursory glance up and down the aisles at industry trade shows is enough to highlight that there are a lot of ad networks out there chasing the same advertisers and knocking on the same publishers’ doors. With the softening display market and the general economic malaise, it’s likely we’ll see some consolidation in ‘09.


Privacy debate will continue to rage

The backwards and forwards between the various stakeholders looks set to continue into ’09. Over the course of next year, we’re likely to see greater consensus reached surrounding the issue of behavioral targeting and the correct rules of engagement.


Widgets / buttons / gadgets – call them what you will, they’ll continue to be big in ‘09

Brands want to reach customers beyond the confines of their websites and consumers want a customized online experience. And widgets are the glue in the middle. Expect continued growth in the widget space in ’09 and in particular with desktop implementations as consumers look to replicate the iPhone experience on their PCs.




October 16, 2008

Ask any sales person at a network what year they were founded, and chances are the answer will be in or around 2000. Back then it was like the wild west for networks. Affiliates were making fast money, and most networks were not regulated. This was a fun time for sure. What most fail to tell you is the offers that made them the most money back then, are most likely causing them, or have at some time caused them the biggest headaches today.

Top Revenue Generating offers that cause the biggest headaches for Networks

1. Ringtones = WHY? FTC crack down
Some networks got themselves into trouble when (after seeing the massive revenue generating power of ringtones, formed white label solutions with the providers) – BIG MISTAKE. When the FTC investigated the call to action ie, “sign up for a FREE ringtone” the networks were being held accountable for the misleading communication in conjunction with the ringtone provider. Yikes.

2. Incentive Offers = WHY? Quality issues
Incentivized offers themselves are fine, and generate some phenomenal leads for the right advertiser (continuity programs with credit cards – like Blockbuster) is a great example, but when a rookie sales person tells you to allow affiliates to incentivize your offer and there’s no credit card transaction involved you’ll have 10,000 leads in one day that will be totally useless. Would you pay for them? I didn’t think so.

3. Email Offers = WHY? SPAM
Email converts very well for many advertisers. Back in 2000 with limited regulation publishers would spam consumers and collect handsomely from the networks. Many networks have since implemented solid stop- gaps, but man those SPAMMERS kill ya! Ask the network if you can provide an unsub lisk, or if they have a master unsub list. Also, have a from line, subject line, text and html version. To ensure some control – make sure you (the advertiser) can dictate when the publishers can drop the emails.

Each of these types of offers still generate an immense amount of revenue on networks, but take up a lot of time and effort to regulate. When investigating a partner for your next campaign, don’t be afraid to ask the network how they address each of these issues. It will save you the headaches in the long run.

In Response to;Are Ad Networks Dying; article on iMediaconnect

May 14, 2008

Ad Networks are not only alive; we’re thriving and evolving along with the ever changing interactive space. For successful performance based marketers there are certainly additional sensitivities that networks must consider which may have been ignored in the past. The adoption of performance based marketing by larger brands has cast a spotlight on the industry as a whole, and this is good. No longer can networks remain “blind” to advertisers. No longer can we demand payment on pixels firing. We’re at a tipping point where those networks that survive will continue to cater to global advertisers that seek much needed hand holding, and networks must acquiesce and service these brands. Those that ignore the needs and wants of larger advertisers will suffer. Agencies will only add networks to a media plan if they’re confident that their partner can service an account with the level of integrity and service they promise their client. The “net-net” is that the model works. Especially with our declining economic climate, “pay for performance” is highly appealing.