Pete is National Sales Director for Adconion. He shares his thoughts here.
1. One Publisher… Either the continued rise of NDM now having Tony Prentice continuing the work started by Paul Fisher & Ed Smith. Or the resurgence of 9msn under Jo Pollard & Kerry McCabe
2. Technology Ad Networks… Of which there happens to be two leaders in this market (before you say I am contradicting myself on the top comment by stating there will be two winners, remember the winner is Technology Ad Networks). These companies have technology driven media solutions for Advertisers & Publishers that offer performance (accountable, measurable & efficient) and behavioural targeting products for clients. For Publishers & Sites they offer yield management tools on their undervalued inventory. All of these products will be in high demand next year
In order for the Technology Ad Networks to be in the winner’s circle, the wider & entire Ad Network community must finally agree a Code of Conduct on Advertising Standards (where ads will and won’t run), the audit process and importantly the penalty if an Ad Network does not pass the quarterly audit. Then in turn it must be 100% openly backed & supported by the IAB and MFA
3. Research Companies… Advertisers demand it, so agencies will continue to invest in it, publishers will continue to do it to gain media dollars and credibility, new ad networks will need to get involved in order to prove their worth beyond performance, and now governing bodies are promoting it. The good news is that the industry needs it to continue its growth. In saying that, I believe in order to grow the Research Companies are going to need to understand all digital media platforms and how to implement surveys across each of them while maintaining neutral results
4. Search, Mobile & Video Advertising… I needed to group these three together so I could keep within my brief of (only) 9 things for 2009.
Search is accountable, measurable and has a low barrier to entry… all the things we know and love about it.
While Mobile is coming off a small revenue and take up base, it will grow this year due to the fact that there are more ‘smart people & influencers’ looking at ways to monetise mobile than ever before. This coupled with better handsets to the wider consumer will ensure mobile will have a great year in 2009
Video Solutions… with better ad serving technologies, more clients willing to experiment, barriers continually being pushed by creative houses, publishers allowing clients to do more bespoke campaigns and finally low ad serving fees video will thrive in 2009
5. Ad Serving… Speaking of lower ad serving fees. I wonder how low they will go in 2009. With some large acquisitions over the past 12-18months from both Google & Microsoft with Double Click and Atlas respectively, it is my prediction that most large clients and or agencies will be getting all performance and standard serving for free. These companies were bought for data, not ad serving revenue.
6. New Online Measurement System… I worry that it will not galvanise the industry as hoped. Unfortunately because the system is being assessed and decided by the IAB, the new system might potentially fail to address many sites & audiences that do not fail into the top 100 or so most visited sites in Australia according to Neilson. Because of this, networks, agencies and advertisers will need to continue to use & recognise other audience measurement systems to find their audiences and sites that are relevant for many of their campaigns. This is one I would love to be proved wrong on!
7. Consolidation of the Wider Ad Network Market… At last count there were over 21 ad networks (this includes site rep companies, networks and audience networks) with a few of them offering no point of difference for Agencies & Advertisers – licensing basic ad serving technology, non exclusive sites and email lists. Two to Three years ago this could be tolerated and was accepted as part of the digital space, however as advertisers and agencies have become much more sophisticated they are demanding more results, exclusive content and technology offerings than ever before.
Unfortunately due to the deepening of the Global Financial Crisis (now extended to a wider financial crisis) the market is slowing quicker than expected, Agency heads will look or be forced to act thru global mandates to gain internal efficiencies within their Agency. One of the first areas they will look at is how many partners (or buy points) does the digital team have. I have been told by some Digital Heads that they have 100, 150 and in some cases over 250 buy points in one calendar year, can you imagine the resources required for negotiation, implementation & optimisation across that many partners?
Given the size of the online Australian Audience I do not believe we can sustain this many offering’s while making it profitable & sustainable for each Ad Network and Agency.
It is for these reasons that Australian Ad Networks will consolidate sometime in 2009 thru both acquisitions or possible mergers and maybe (only maybe) the closing of some… By how many and by when?? Well, that is anyone’s guess
8. Smart People in the industry… given test budgets will dry up more and more in slowing economy, Agencies, Publishers and Advertisers will be looking to the leaders (no matter what their title) for their opinion and insight more than ever to ensure what they are doing will reach their audience and delivery the results
9. The consumer… greater choice of content, more customised content, better technologies in computers and mobiles, lower or no subscription fees (if you are will to accept customised advertising), cheaper handsets and PC’s (accelerated even more due to the slump in retail) and cheaper & faster broadband. Bring on 2009.