What Did Digital Media Pros Do On Summer Vacation? Business, Of Course!
If you're in the business of display advertising, then you know it's been a busy summer! Did any of these trends pass you by while you were out of the office?
If you’re like me, the end of the summer is the time when you pack your bag and try and catch a break before the fall arrives — and before you know it, the “Q4 push” has begun.
What has amazed me about the summer of 2014 is the common sentiment I’ve heard from many of the folks in digital: “I can’t believe how busy I am this summer.”
Busy means business, which is, of course, better than the alternative. I wrote this piece as a way to both share some of what I have learned over the course of the last few months and deliver a smile to all of us in digital getting through the dog days of summer.
First the education –a tidbit on native advertising, ad fraud and viewability to bring us up to date.
The rant on native advertising by John Oliver, host of the HBO program Last Week Tonight, has not only brought the conversation to the forefront of our minds, but made it an even hotter topic than before. If you haven’t already, take a look at his segment on the “latest and greatest” trend to hit the marketing world.
What I found most interesting in the aftermath of this video is the discussion around the idea of labeling of sponsored content or not. On one hand, labeling needs to be the norm – it’s what consumers demand as they need to understand when they are being advertised to. Yet, that seemed to be the part of the segment that got the most laughs. Funny, right?
Above and beyond this television piece, there have been whoops and cries for better and clearer messaging to consumers to help them navigate the murky waters of native.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a workshop devoted to the topic at the end of last year. More recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Edelman Berland shed light on the fact that online news readers, in particular, have trouble distinguishing between editorial news content and sponsored material. But, the next steps aren’t yet clear for this burgeoning form of advertising.
We’ll see what happens in the wake of this “wake-up call” from Oliver to the industry.
Digital Ad Fraud
An early year-end prediction: there will not be a topic more discussed in 2015 than digital ad fraud – and not only about the fraudsters, but also about the companies attacking this issue. Some are spreading rumors and truths in order to make their cases stick to the market.
Who will be the winners and losers in this melee? My Magic 8-Ball says, “Better not tell you now.”
2014 was the year of viewability. Publishers took marketers seriously and started to prepare for the viewable revolution. While advertisers and agencies said things like, “I don’t want to pay for an ad that no one sees,” there still seems to be little talk about the position of the publishers in this debate.
Let me fill that void a little bit. Not paying for ads that aren’t seen is something easy to say, but not easy to do – and it’s going to take time to deliver. Premium publishers have no interest in selling unviewed ads, but there are challenges to making this a reality, and it will take time.
Agencies and marketers will need to respect that this is a massive transition that won’t happen overnight. They may want to push against this reality, but I would counsel that the buy-side should show some patience while publishers get their viewable strategies in place.
Now that we’re up to speed, I can only imagine that you are currently poolside with a drink in one hand – and at least three devices for “optimizing” and keeping abreast of interactive marketing news in the other.
I have to admit that I’m no better, often pretending to be covered up with a towel from the sun while secretly working under cover. Heck, while I was on vacation, I cut several important deals for Q4.
That said, it is the end of summer, and it’s time that we all took a breath and a break from talking ad impressions before fall arrives, and Advertising Week consumes all of our waking thoughts (as well as a few sleeping ones). We’ll be wearing the requisite must-have wearables and sporting a bevy of ad tech company tchotchkes soon enough.
But, if you can’t take a real break, at least convince your clients that the next meeting needs to happen on a rooftop lounge. If possible, you might even be able to get a little tan while you broker that next big campaign.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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