Monday, March 10, 2008

The End of Media Buying

The future of advertising will be centered around one idea: Information.

Where you've been. What you look at. How long you look at things. What you shop for. Blog information. Myspace/Facebook links. Ebay shopping. The list goes on forever.

Advertising is just beginning to come into its own on the web and is about to start getting sophisticated. When you search the web the sites are mining your computer for information gathering the bread crumbs you leave behind and helps to predict where you're going to go next. This process will allow advertisers to select specific ads that will be targeted for you.

So if you're on Facebook talking about your new puppy, then go to Ebay to look for a new food bowl and then on to yahoo to check you mail, you might be presented with a big Purina Dog Chow ad on Yahoo's home page.

This is all fine and dandy for advertisers. Targeted ads can be charged at premium because of placement, and ROI will be higher theoretically. So who stands to lose?

Media buying companies will not have the data access to compete with the giants. AOL, ABC/Disney/ESPN, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft have been scrambling to gather as many information and ad media placement shops as they can in the last two years, stockpiling information aligining themselves as the future of online ad placement, pushing the small media buyers out, which includes in house media departments.

“I think a lot of publishers are going to find they don’t have enough data,” said David W. Kenny, chief executive of Digitas, a digital advertising agency in the Publicis Groupe. “There’s only going to be a handful of big players who can manage the data.”

Agencies will now not only have to answer to clients but possibly to Microsoft. Media buyers have gained untold power by courting clients first and then approaching agencies for creative to fit a designed media plan. In the past it was always build creative and fit media around it.

Imagine having to call Microsoft to find out the banner sizes and names you need to program into your banners, or call Yahoo to find out what colors dog lover want to see in their ads. These probably won't happen, but could.

The media world is about to get small, very small, and we're all being watched.

1 comment:

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