Last week, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel at the Monaco Media Forum in Monte Carlo called "Audience Factories: Where's the money?”
Along with moderator Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor of AdWeek, I joined the panel with Kate Burns, AOL’s Head of Ad Sales in Europe; Curt Hecht, President of the VivaKi Nerve Center; Dev Patel, VP of Advertiser & Publisher Solutions at Yahoo!
Brian summed up the discussion nicely saying, “How audiences are aggregated and found—and then advertised to—is changing quite a bit as we move from an analog era into a digital era.”
The panelists engaged in a fascinating conversation that got to the heart of the challenges in our industry today.
First we talked about ad formats and innovation and why digital advertisement hasn’t gotten its “share” of the wallet.
I think about this as a pendulum.
On the one side, brand advertisers care deeply about the experience of “sight, sound, motion”. They want to bring their brand to life and facilitate a love affair with the consumer. On the other side of the pendulum, the digital environment has grown up very quickly. It’s more of a direct response, click-through environment. The ad format parameters in some ways can restrict the creativity. It’s time to hit refresh. If we were going to start over, how would we think of an ad model on the web? In our partnership with the creative agencies, we need to go into a Web 3.0 mentality and rethink how a digital advertisement could look.
Then we grappled with what’s going to cause more brand dollars to come onboard?
For me, Multi-platform solutions are key. It’s really about all the platforms working together. I’ve sat in many meetings where TV folks are wondering if their money is going to all go to digital, and I’ve sat in digital meetings where they’re asking “how can we get the TV money?”
I believe the conversation should go like this: “what is the advertising experience across multi-screens, and which brands have come to life because they were able to tell a story across multiple screens and media platforms?” The more we do that kind of work, the more I think we’re going to ignite brand dollars across the board.
The more we do that kind of work, the more I think we’re going to ignite the brand dollars across the board.
The scarcity of good quality video on the web was the next theme and this constraint is blamed for keeping some brands at arm’s length from digital. Digital video inventory is lagging. The current video marketplace is currently about 1.4 billion. It’s expected to grow to four billion in 2014. But that is still dwarfed by TV. There needs to be a much more robust video environment where brands are going to feel more comfortable.
Then the panel talked about unlocking more quality video content.
Three ideas emerged: traditional media, really strong aggregators, and brands. The panelists agreed that there are professional providers – traditional media that may need a bigger megaphone to get out their content. Next, there are lots of other aggregators out there that are really interesting, and we can partner and very thoughtfully integrate video with the consumer experience. The third source is actually brands themselves, which are becoming really interested in developing terrific immersive content.
Finally – Targeting.
Bing is providing incredible data about what our audience is actually searching for and the decisions that they are making, which is often tied to localization. We’re going to see further integration on what we learn about how people use Bing on their mobile device, the types of information they’re searching for, and the decisions that they’re making based on that content. Then you’re going to see a much more personalized way of serving content back to them.
We absolutely believe that the key to mobile is: it’s addressable, it’s personal, and it’s local – it’s geo-targeted from an advertising perspective.
Ultimately, building audiences is about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Microsoft Advertising has a really unique position at the intersection of media and technology and innovation. We will continue partner and innovate to remain on the front edge of offering creative, effective ad solutions to our customers.
Thanks for reading,
Carolyn Everson – CVP Global Sales & Marketing at Microsoft Advertising