The evolution of technology is creating new opportunities in online advertising, in some cases helping improve publishers’ returns; in other cases, allowing them to manage their inventory more efficiently across multiple formats. And this past December, we announced our acquisition of Admeld, and made a commitment to work towards building the next generation of tools to help publishers make more informed decisions about their ad space and grow their businesses.

But there is still much to do, as the industry works together to grow display from the $25-30 billion industry it is today, to the $200 billion industry we believe it could be. Today, at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Google Vice President Karim Temsamani played a game of truth and dare with the audience and shared some thoughts on how we might get there, as well as how publishers and advertisers can get the most out of the evolving online marketplace.

Truth #1: It’s a Connected World...for Users. There are now more mobile devices than people in the US, and some predict that devices will exceed the global population by end of year.

Dare: It’s not enough that people are mobile, we, as an industry, also need to get the websites, ads, and operations mobilized too. We think, collectively, we can work to mobilize 80% of the largest 2000 websites by end of this year. This means ensuring that content is optimized for mobile, ditto for ads, and that ad transactions are seamlessly connected to the rest of the plumbing. Towards this end, we are launching GoMo for Publishers, where publishers can test their mobile site performance, get a personalized report with recommended actions, and find vendors to assist with implementations.  Publishers who’ve optimized their sites are already seeing substantial increases in mobile ad revenue and mobile page visits.  

Truth #2: Technology is fundamental. As an industry, we’ve made great strides in using technology to create operational efficiencies.

Dare: Let’s pair high-tech with high-touch. Karim announced that in April we’ll launch the Ad Exchange Direct Deals Marketplace--an interface that enables publishers and buyers to solicit direct deal offers, negotiate, and execute them without sending an email or picking up the phone.  However, to complement this automation we’re bringing high-touch consulting expertise through our integration of the Admeld team.  Admeld supports private exchanges to complement automation, giving clients a model as a more holistic, customized, and technically savvy vision for their display business.

Truth #3: This industry traditionally thinks of ‘audience’ as bits and bytes.

Dare: Let’s think of audience as people, looking to engage and interact. We can do more to give people what they want. For example, TrueView ads on YouTube let viewers choose which ads they watch. Advertisers only pay for engaged views, meaning their campaigns are more effective. And we’ve found that nine out of ten viewers prefer TrueView ads.

In putting these principles into practice, we believe we can further a growing and thriving online ecosystem, where publishers see improved returns, advertisers reach an engaged audience, and people get the ads and content they want, in the way they want it. Now that’s a dare worth taking on.

Posted by Maureen Bradford, Head of Publisher Marketing