The nine things the experts will say this morning about the future of digital advertising

Julian PetersonJulian Peterson will be at AIMIA’s The Future of Digital Advertising conference in Sydney today. He reckons he knows most of what the speakers will say.

I’m going to the AIMIA event  and I’m pretty excited. I’ve been avoiding conferences and talks recently, but this will be a good one. Unfortunately I’ve had one too many coffees today and rashly told Mumbrella that I could predict what everyone would say.

1) Retargeting – the future is micro-retargeting

Re-targeting has improved the effectiveness of display advertising – visit, for example, Dan Murphy’s, TM Lewin or eSuperfund and you’ll be pursued for days around other sites to complete your sale. Dan Murphy’s already retarget using specific products that you viewed but currently this is unusual.

In the near future, it will be routine to do your business online, let’s say weekly shopping, and then see banners elsewhere saying “Julian, you forgot the milk”

2) Annoying

What we in digital advertising think is cool, some consumers find really annoying – micro-retargeting and targeting by personal details such as we see on Facebook will increasingly annoy people even more than it does now. (“Why am I being targeted with singles websites ads?” Because you’ve been married for 12.3 years.) There’s a fine line between clever targeting and stalking.

Insincere, spammy and bogus social campaigns will also increasingly annoy consumers who have become tired of brands who say “Happy Friday – what are you doing today?” when it’s got nothing to do with the brand.

Consumers will become more adept at expressing their displeasure at brands who get it wrong – see the many brand Facebook pages that are already rivers of hate. Regulators in the EU (mainly) and US will continue to legislate in favour of privacy.

And we will continue to find ways around this.

3) Publishers will have to collect and provide more details on their audience

Publishers will have to allow advertisers to segment their audience and target them by the information that the publisher will have to collect about them. Both their personal details (from subscription or login) and their browsing history, preferences and behaviour will form part of this targeting.

4) Real Time Bidding and automated trading

Real Time Bidding is in for a bumper couple of years – agencies will attempt to automate as much of their digital buying as possible to reduce head count and increase efficiency.

Publishers will attempt to automate as much of their digital selling as possible to reduce head count and increase efficiency.

Those heads who remain will realise that the eCPM from most of these ad exchanges, DSPs and SSPs is closer to $1 than $100 or even $10.

The winners will use technology but still understand the relationship between publisher / website and advertiser and how to work together strategically and not just on price.

5) Mobile

Mobile mobile mobile mobile mobile. Mobile.

By Christmas 2013, anyone who has a site that is not responsive or has no mobile version will have been “let go”.

Smartphone usage will rise and rise – even your granny will ditch her old Nokia – advertisers will need to find ways to interest mobile users without jarring their experience (not many succeeding in this at the moment).

Many will continue to struggle to understand why people are now applying for mortgages on their phone on a bus but eventually understand the sequential use of screens – find you on a mobile, share you on a mobile, complete the transaction from a laptop.

6) Facebook

Facebook hasn’t even got started yet with what it can do and using what it knows about you now.

Facebook will grow an increasing team of data scientists with the hugest hadoop set up and will begin to predict your movements, purchases and interactions with increasing ease.

You’ll be targeted with offers at cafes, bars, and shops on trips that you haven’t even planned yet. In fact, you may even plan the trip that you hadn’t planned yet because Facebook predicted it and made you an offer. Because, given enough information, everyone is predictable.

7) Online Video

Video content and advertising will continue to explode – TVCs on many sites will continue to be fully booked as publishers struggle to find enough quality and cost effective content to produce the required page impressions.

Australia will continue to be held back in this regard by its high broadband prices and lack of fibre network to the consumer, with speeds continuing to dawdle between 1Mbps and 10Mbps. When/if this is fixed consumer demand for video will go nuclear and video advertising online will follow suit.

8) Banners and Click Through Rates

Everyone will continue to be secretly appalled by the click through rate from most banners. Some will claim its the wrong metric to measure.

Advertisers who know the above and have budget will increasingly demand either advertorial (integrated / native) or bespoke creative solutions – huge moving creatives that burst across the screen shouting for your attention or sponsored editorial from publishers who would previously not have considered it.

Advertisers with limited budgets and some digital reporting knowledge will increasingly seek performance based advertising – cost per click or cost per lead for example, because they’ll have to for any ROI.

9) Content marketing

Some brands already have websites that resemble newspaper websites with up to date articles, videos and quality content that informs rather than just sells to the consumer.

Increasingly large numbers of redundant journalists will find new careers in writing good content for brands. Good content will be in the minority – most content used for marketing will be unremarkable, salesy and bland.


 I think I’ve stolen a main point from all the speakers tomorrow so it ends here.

Julian Peterson is the sales and marketing director of Dianomi.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.