Display Advertising Isn’t Dead, Actually It’s More Sophisticated than Ever

N.Talbert.featuredBy Nick Talbert, AVP Product Marketing, DG MediaMind

While display advertising is far from dead, it has changed. Anyone that says it hasn’t, I beg them to look at the time since that first AT&T ad up to now. There is lots of variety in banner formats/features and numerous other options advertisers have available to deliver display campaigns. As an industry, we have added interactivity, motion, flexibility, games and video. We increased the number of measurement options for the different levels of engagement: did they mouse over, watch it, play with it, spend time with it, click it, what happened after they did all that, on the site, with other ads, in other mediums and more.

Giving advertisers more data and tracking options than could ever be utilized within several campaigns, let alone a single ad. Creativity has grown with custom formats, custom features, social integrations, custom interactions, custom sizes, and easy to use authoring tools to stitch it all together. Targeting options have increased even to the way we stage delivering with dynamic ad delivery and optimization. We moved from buying banners from portals to endemic sites, to networks by content and audience and finally to audience by bidding within huge blocks of inventory in a variety of exchanges.

Even beyond the potential of which technology to deploy/use on the display campaign, there are even signs that display is far from dead.

1. Publishers need to “charge” for providing content to consumers. The Internet still isn’t free by any means and not every ad on a page can be video, sometimes a passively delivered message reminder of a simple banner ad is all that advertisers and publishers need.

2. If you are critical of just standard display, not every ad needs to be video or interactive. Sometimes just a relevant environment and clever copy is enough to grab 10-15 seconds of an audience’s attention and perhaps a point-of-recall later.

3. Every channel of advertising has a point of diminishing return. By that I mean you only pour so much money into something before its efficiency wears out and you are now only paying for the same conversions or the same reach that you would have got for slightly less. Data shows that for most advertisers, this point hasn’t been reached. You would see a plateau and then a slight fall in number of impressions served. We’ve seen this happen when a search campaign reaches its full potential. After all, any and every keyword only has a finite amount of searches in a given day, unless acted upon by another persuasive force, perhaps some PR or social marketing. But mostly, it’s usually driving more interest by running display campaigns.

4. You would start to see a decline. Both our data and industry research from eMarketer shows that the average price per ad delivered is falling, however the number of ads continues to increase. At DG MediaMind we are seeing the average number of display ads per campaign increase by an average of 28% in the last year alone.

The average campaign is actually getting a bit more nuanced, more complex and bit more sophisticated. Instead of creating a small amount of straightforward, boring, untargeted message ads. Then buying cheap tonnage inventory (some CPA or CPC deal) and blanketing the web without using any sort of targeted media, hoping for some insanely small CTR and even lower conversion rate in order to achieve an unnaturally low cost per download, sign-up or other conversion metric. Advertisers are applying more technology and intelligence to digital campaigns that yield more interesting results than our sophomoric past approaches.


About the Author: With a unique blend of experience with technology, creativity and brand strategy, Nick is a dedicated digital evangelist focused on driving the adoption of the digital medium. Nick’s background is rooted in brand strategy,media and online advertising, which includes working with brands such as Yahoo!, Discovery Communications, Conde Nast, GAP, Addidas, Kodak, Microsoft, Girl Scouts, Electronic Arts, Adobe and of course DG MediaMind. In previous roles, Nick conducted in-depth analyses of audience segments, creative messaging and brand identity. He understands the challenges facing advertisers and agencies and remains passionate about leveraging integrated strategies to deliver the right message to the right consumers. In his current role, Nick is responsible for ensuring DG MediaMind’s global products are marketable as well as communicated in the proper context. Before DG MediaMind, Nick held multiple senior-level media/brand strategy positions at agencies. Nick holds degrees in Account Planning, Global Communications, and Advertising. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.