What’s The Future For Advertising In A More Transparent World?

Mobile Advertising

Video now accounts for 18% of all online and mobile display advertising, while mobile represents 23% according to the IAB. Driven by the growth of the internet and these new ad formats, the whole display advertising industry is now worth £1.86 billion.

As consumers engage with media across an expansive landscape, display advertisers are challenged with adapting to their new attitudes while having to prove greater ROI and effectiveness. As a result they are questioning whether the measurement techniques that have been used across the industry for over a decade are still relevant today.

Given these challenges, here are three trends for advertisers in display at the moment:

1. Greater Accountability

Marketers are calling for greater transparency and accountability – they want to know if their ads have been engaged with, not just seen. The IAB’s recent decision to set viewability metrics and acquisitions of attribution companies by Google and AOL reflects this need for better measurement. In fact, we recently acquired a digital measurement company, DC Storm to combat this.

The age old CPM metric means that advertisers buy impressions by the thousands for particular sites, and hope that their ads will reach a few potential buyers. With this measurement method, there’s no guarantee that an advertiser will make a sale and hence there is lower accountability.

The introduction of programmatic media-buying and real-time bidding means that the industry is selling impressions to the highest bidder and serving ads to relevant audiences, based on their browsing and data profiles. With this method, advertisers know their ads are being served to their target customers, increasing confidence that they will convert to a sale.

Once the ads are served either through RTB or CPM, impressions or clicks have in the past been a traditional measurement method. Whilst advertising impressions provide scale and volume, they don’t provide transparency about purchase intent. While clicks do provide this clarity, they are a broken metric to track ‘interest’ as only a small percentage of buyers actually click.

To solve this the metric of ‘engagement’ can track exact behaviours in the ads, and understand what specific products customers are interested in. It provides transparency and insight on where brands are seeing sales.

2. Purchasing Anytime, Anywhere

The internet has made it possible to buy from anywhere, at any time. There are no boundaries for brands selling online and as a result, to influence consumers brands have to be wherever they are. A presence across all channels is crucial.

Although this borderless environment increases the customer reach for brands and offers access to data about their customer base, understanding this customer journey is more challenging than ever. Shoppers are going to more than one site and using different devices before they buy, meaning that their path to purchase is hugely fragmented.

Consolidating a single view of the customer to target them more effectively is essential for multi-channel brands. Brands need the ability to reach and target a customer when they jump from one device to another or move between online and offline channels. By understanding interplay between channels, brands can target consumers more intelligently.

3. Ads Must Be ‘Dynamic, Targeted & Actionable’

In a world overflowing with content, it’s now much more difficult to catch a consumer’s eye. Display ads today need to provide something beneficial to your customer. By creating an ad with an overall brand experience you can drive a higher conversion.

Firstly, strong creative is essential for this experience. When your banners become interactive or your product information is dynamic you are immediately going to increase conversions. Think about what actions you want customers to take and incorporate this into your design strategy. Make sure that your ad experience will drive a sale, not just a click.

It’s also important that this brand experience is optimised per channel so that the user experience from desktop site, to Facebook, to tablet doesn’t differ. Brands have a short amount of time to remind consumers of their product and template or static ads won’t do.

Overall, the display space has changed hugely over the last 20 years when the first online ad appeared. Changing shopping behaviour, media consumption habits and the need for greater ROI means that the marketing industry is having to adapt and ad spend is coming under scrutiny.

By addressing questions around measurement methods and implementing ads that will drive shoppers to an action, brands can continue to engage shoppers with display retargeting, and ensure campaigns result in incremental sales.

Rakhee Jogia

Rakhee Jogia is Director of Client Services at Rakuten MediaForge. She has over 7 years experience in affiliate, display and digital marketing. Since joining Rakuten LinkShare in 2010, Rakhee was responsible for growing the UK publisher network, focusing on the acquisition and management of strategic partnerships such as Nectar, O2 Media, Shortlist Media and many more. Prior to Rakuten MediaForge, Rakhee has held Ad Trafficking, Account Management and Graphic Design positions with design and publishing companies in London. She holds a degree from the University of Westminster in London.