Display ads lift searching … but 09 expected to be rocky for web and brand ads …


Ben Shepherd writes: Two interesting articles doing the rounds today (thanks IAB Informer)

Article 1: J.P. Morgan: ’09 to be Rocky for Web and Brand Ads
http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/digital-downloads/metrics/e3i8984cd09f9fc9836d58fc1c7ed7b8b1c

Based around quotes from Morgan analyst Imran Khan (not the cricketer) who is a regular on the speaking circuit in the US. Khan says that performance based display advertising and search will see the majority of YOY increases this year due to increased economic pressures and a want for media activity online to generate almost immediate return.

Khan also claims the advertising/marketing industry has failed to keep pace with the takeup of online video … but then says that online video lacks 2 qualities advertisers want, especially during harder times … predictable mass audiences and brand safe content. No arguments here in a general sense (ie YouTube and UGC, which serves the majority of videos) however professional outfits like Hulu are well positioned to continue strong growth in 09.

Khan also predicted that social media type offerings perhaps explore alternative revenue streams in 2009 as a result of struggling to generate much traction with traditional advertising. My belief is this year this won’t really be an option – I question how many of these services have enough currency with users for them to actually pay to play. Aside a very small component of Flickr’s audience there probably really isn’t any … think about it, would you pay to use Facebook, or Twitter, or Second Life (ha!) or even sites like Trip Advisor … I doubt it. Not because they don’t have something to offer, it’s just you can get a similar experience elsewhere using free tools.

So the same day this article is predicting a bit of doom and gloom for the display world, another article comes out with some positive sentiment for the humble display unit.

Article 2: Display ads Lift Searching

This article is an interesting one and really backs up what most of us already know, other media (including display media online) assists in raising search volume (ie bringing incremental search queries) for advertisers.

Personally I think this is one of the most exciting things for the wider digital media world and an area that has yet to be fully explored by media agencies, creative agencies and publishers.

“David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer agreed that “There is a connection between display and search ads… often it’s not the search ad alone that gets consumers to act, but the context of all the marketing that preceded it.”

The categories that generate the biggest gains in search from display activity are Health, Automotive, Finance and Travel.

The study raises a lot of questions (when was it done, how many people, what were the spend levels per category, volume not %’s etc) but the underlying sentiment is correct – search cannot exist in a silo.

Problem is – this is taking some time to sink in. Yes, search is an efficient fulfillment medium … but in isolation can only bring finite benefits. It’s when it’s teamed with other media in a meaningful way that is truly becomes interesting in terms of really differentiating brands and bringing about incremental gains.

The fulfillment sell is an easy one but the challenge for Google in 09 is to link itself to wider media efforts. The challenge for media agencies is to integrate search properly into wider comms plans and the challenge for creative agencies is to use wider ATL creative executions to drive search.

The only concern for the sales people who are reading is that both CPG and Retail had pretty marginal search gains as a result of wider display. These two categories are crucial for the industry to enjoy double digit display growth YOY for the next 3 years.

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One response to “Display ads lift searching … but 09 expected to be rocky for web and brand ads …

  1. This article also caught my eye – here it is in full – http://tinyurl.com/6rswwq
    I would like to see the same research carried out/data made available for AU users.

    I think there is also a case to show the impact so called premium display ads have on other performance – cost per whatever – campaigns. The list of research projects for this year is getting longer!

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