Online advertising growth has exploded in the last year. Many experts are expecting that the global advertising market as a whole is to outpace the world economy in 2012 due to the Presidential election and the London Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicts that the global online advertising market, excluding mobile advertising, is set to reach $106.22 billion by 2016, almost double the amount spent in 2010, which reached $58.16bn.
However, the importance of mobile advertising cannot be ignored either. With the increase in use of tablets and smartphone technology, opportunities have emerged for advertisers and marketers to tap into a wider and more relevant consumer based audience.
Another study from the IAB found that smartphone ownership has almost doubled in the past 12 months with 37% of the UK population owning an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android device. These new consumer habits have resulted in a large exponential growth in the advertising market and new areas and opportunities which businesses can capitalise on.
For advertisers looking to reap the benefits of the expanding market, they must remember the basics. Advertising is built on three key variables including frequency (the number of times you displayed your ad), recency (how long you left it between displaying each ad) and environment (where you placed it).
However, the evolution of online advertising and of the Internet into a social platform has dictated that these variables are no longer solid enough foundations solely on which to pin your campaigns if you want to gain the optimum return.
So what’s changed? The first thing to note is that the original three variables do still apply. Campaigns do need these considerations in order to be successful, but now advertisers have to acknowledge and embrace other tenets in order to realise the full potential the Internet now offers.
Firstly, the explosion in tablets and smartphones has enabled consumers to be online, all the time, and therefore able to be targeted more than ever. Next, the Internet has evolved into the Open Web. It’s no longer just used for search and gathering information. In 2011, consumers primarily used it to connect with friends and peers, sharing ideas and content.
This leads us on to the third and perhaps most crucial new part of the equation. The sharing phenomenon has completely rewritten the rule book when it comes to online advertising. Mark Zuckerberg was quoted earlier this year as saying; “Every year we are sharing twice the amount that we shared the year before”.
Therefore, advertisers need to look at what consumers are searching for, what they are sharing, how much they are sharing and how often, on any device, anytime. However, tracking all these elements individually and viewing them in siloes is time consuming, error prone and wholly ineffective.
This is why a holistic view is required. The good news is that we are at the stage where advertisers and agencies can use one platform to monitor all these aspects and finally view these campaigns with open eyes. Needless to say, being able to view campaigns in this manner will undoubtedly benefit brands, as it will allow them to understand the movements of the consumer across the virtual landscape, without infringing on their privacy.
Some brands are starting to realise that social connections matter and the exponential growth of sharing across the web is fundamentally changing the way in which audiences can be better targeted. Shared interactions have become a much more powerful indicator of people’s preferences and interests.
One business that has taken stock of this holistic approach and embraced the latest sharing phenomenon is Jobsite, a leading UK online recruitment site. Jobsite has used social targeting to support its digital and above the line advertising campaigns, giving the ability to identify consumers that are aligned with its brand in larger numbers and attract new candidates that were previously difficult to reach.
Jobsite is highly innovative in its approach to its marketing and is constantly looking for original ways to communicate with existing candidates and new candidates. Its brand campaign has taken a truly holistic approach across TV, mobile, print and digital channels.
Following this fantastic example, taking a holistic approach to advertising, creates the market trading dynamic where the ad impression is treated as the commodity and data acts as the currency we trade on. This enables us to unlock value, display more relevant ads at greater scale and ultimately execute more successful campaigns in the future.