Social networks. Consumer-generated media. Twitter. Foursquare. YouTube. Facebook. Blogs. Websites, even.
With digital media there for the taking (or earning), what’s the sense in buying it?
Digital advertising and media are certainly not going to go away. No media channel has ever been truly supplanted (movies didn’t kill live theatre, just as VCRs didn’t stop people from munching popcorn in cinemas, despite dire predictions to the contrary). But online advertising is certainly experiencing forced evolution, largely thanks to disruptive social technologies.
My vs. Buy
Whereas a handful of years ago the digital display people complained bitterly of silos – of being cut off from the main event of the traditional campaign – there may now be a disconnect on the other side of the house as display advertising, still pretty firmly anchored in the world of direct response, becomes disconnected from social campaigns. How should marketers integrate display advertising with social media? Does one drive the other, or do we have Dr. Dolittle’s hybrid pushmi-pullyu on our hands, the fabulous animal who could do two things at once (or struggle mightily to do nothing at all)?
It’s clear that creative and media buying strategies must be adjusted to accommodate a display/social world, particularly as online brand advertising (as opposed to direct response) continues to rise. Emarketer, for one, predicts that by 2015, display ad spend will finally supplant search spend.
The agency role in the new My vs. Buy ecosystem will, of course, be re-evaluated, as will measurement. Impressions, clicks, virtually all measurement standards are up for assessment and new forms of standardization, as a consortium of the major advertising trade associations announced yesterday.
As the landscape rapidly evolves, we’re still in a period of more questions than answers, but asking the right questions is a critical first step in coming to terms with tough decisions about allocations between marketing and advertising, of build vs. buy.
If you’re interested in these questions – and in the San Mateo area next Thursday, Sept. 29 – consider joining my colleagues and I for a discussion at the Altimeter Group’s Hangar. Request an invitation here.