Following up on the Top 10 Tech Trends Of The Decade and drilling down on trend item five, in this post we’re going to look at the evolution of online advertising and what we might expect to see in the coming decade. At present, the online advertising industry is at $55 billion, and mobile advertising is at $2 billion. With the rise of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, mobile advertising will gain momentum. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Paid Search Rules:
Google ruled the past decade with paid search advertising. There is still no better, more effective form of advertising on the Internet. Keywords are becoming expensive, but if you know what you are doing, you will still be able to find cost-effective ways of acquiring customers using PPC.
2. Organic Search Gains Momentum:
Increasingly though, marketers are starting to understand the importance of organic search. Almost 90% of the entire Web’s search traffic flows through organic search, yet the search marketing industry is generally obsessed with PPC. This decade, some sanity and rationalization will take the place of this weird dichotomy.
3. Display Advertising and Vertical Ad Networks:
The best trend I have spotted during the past decade is the rise of vertical ad networks like Glam Media, Federated, HotChalk, Travel Ad Network, and others that focus on specific verticals. This is pretty much the only way for advertisers to do brand advertising across the fragmented spectrum of blogs and other online hangouts for audiences, including social media. In the coming decade, vertical ad networks will get better at providing more value to advertisers through advanced technology for audit, measurement, analytics and optimization, as well as richer engagement capabilities like interactive and video ads.
4. Social Media Advertising:
Social networks, especially the big ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have a lot of information about individuals. They have not yet figured out ways to monetize this information and create a safe, non-intrusive, yet personalized framework through which advertisers can do high-precision targeting. This is definitely coming in the next few years.
5. In-Game Advertising:
Consumers are spending inordinate amounts of time online playing games. I foresee a significant uptick in in-game advertising this decade.
6. Advertising Apps and Games:
Now that apps have taken over the mobile web, and is even coming on to PCs, advertising apps and games are a natural progression. Marketers will see it is obvious that instead of a 30-second prime-time advertising slot, a branded app or game that can engage users for three minutes is a far better use of ad dollars.
7. Interactive Infomercials:
Television infomercials are an effective way to market products. But the Internet offers significantly more cost-effective and targeted ways to market using the same concept, but delivered through display ad networks, viral videos, and so on.
8. Video Advertising:
Whether they are about political campaigns or consumer brands, YouTube videos have a viral power, and everyone knows it. This decade, we will see a huge amount of creativity deployed on this art form.
9. Mobile Advertising:
The rise of the mobile Web – through mobile apps on smartphones and tablets in the West, and through the avalanche of cell phone adoption in the emerging markets from Brazil to Indonesia – opens the door for mobile advertising as a category to gain tremendous momentum this decade. In particular, location-based advertising, coupons, and special offers at highly targeted and precise moments – all look very promising.
10. Better Analytics, Optimization, and Targeting:
Powering all this and more, we will see a vastly more sophisticated analytics, optimization, and targeting infrastructure that doesn’t quite exist today. There will be innovation in affordable tools to optimize PPC, SEO, mobile advertising, social media advertising, and every other conceivable online customer acquisition method.
It has been predicted that the Internet will have 5 billion users in 2020. I cannot hold back my excitement at the potential of entrepreneurs being able to tap into this vast population and create value. I also cannot suppress my excitement at how thrilling all this will be for our One Million by One Million entrepreneurs. The world becomes accessible at our fingertips.
And if you layer on Web 3.0 and personalization on top of all this, the precision factor becomes formidable.