It seems to me that more and more companies are working towards what the cable and phone companies are calling the triple play package. This is where you get phone, Internet, and TV service all from one provider all with one bill, hopefully lowering the overall price and making things less complicated.
I have found recently that this convergence is starting to happen (or at least trying to happen) in the world of online advertising. I think the three plays in this case are Search, Display, and Other (which could be video, audio, etc…)
Right now there are specialized firms that concentrate on each of these areas; Search Marketing firms, banner optimization companies and ad exchanges, and video networks or overlay companies. Each is vying for advertising dollars to provide value in the form of results back to the advertising agency or brand they are working for.
In the case of banners, this process happens in the form of end of campaign (some in campaign) data as Clicks, Impressions, and Actions. This may or may not be able to be integrated back into your Business Intelligence system to track against other advertising efforts.
In the case of Search Marketing, this process happens in the form of daily, weekly, or monthly reports that have Clicks, Impressions, Actions, and perhaps a view other metrics. This usually ties into other search campaigns going on, and hopefully ties into your BI system to track against other advertising effort.
In the case of Other, lets use video, the process happens in the form of reporting surfacing activity, interaction, and clicks – similar to banners. The results here are hopefully exportable, but certainly not integrated with your Business Intelligence reconciliation effort.
Companies are now trying to integrate these advertising efforts together by using one delivery system such as ATLAS or DART, or one business intelligence system to suck in all the metrics in the form of .xls, .csv or other format and tie everything together.
For this data reconciliation to happen correctly you need a keystone or unique identifier within all three data sets. In the case of online advertising this comes in the form of a unique ID associated with each campaign down, and hopefully down to the specific row in the table.
The benefit of having a unique key that travels along with each creative, action, or ad copy is that you can then input the data back into one system to track and take action upon.
By connecting your advertising efforts of Search, Display, and Other together you get a Tripe Play data reconciliation happening which provides true ROI on every $1.00 that goes out the door. Without doing this reconciliation you cannot know your true ROI.
Currently this is not possible with less tracked forms of media such as TV, print, Radio, OOH, and a few others – but that is another conversation.
For the past few years there have been specialties in the forms of hybrid agencies with a ton of technology, and the last mile of service to get the job done. Many are working on solutions they want to put in the hands of the agencies and brands themselves. This is a complicated pivot for the world of advertising, and a complex problem to put in the hands of a media planner or media buyer within an agency.
I look at this as the last mile in fiber optics, something Verizon has recently started to try to solve with bringing FiOS to homes.
Fiber optics has been around for awhile and within the grasp of consumers – but telco’s have never been able to solve this last mile problem. As early as a few years ago telco’s were able to bring fiber to the node (FTTN) but not to the premises (FTTP). Only recently have we seen companies willing to absorb major fees and do 6 hour service calls to accomplish this FTTP last mile problem.
This is the problem occuring with high yield banner networks and high efficiency search marketing companies. Each have specialties and staff trained to use their tools. They are reluctant to take on a new medium let alone report on a new type of ad – yet all need to converge.
The self serve tools coming out of these companies are a good first step. Translating these tools into API’s that can be used across companies with varying specialties is the next step. Disintermediating the agencies themselves with this new breed of agency follows that evolution. Finally, putting these tools, concepts, and specialty at the brand and company level makes the new super agencies obsolete.
I do not have a time frame on any of this, and I am not even sure this prediction will come true. My thesis is based on what happened and what is continuing to happen to large agencies and what has happened in the television upfront buying market over the past decade.
Today, it seems these new systems will not reach the traditional agencies for some time. Only recently has search marketing expertise been brought in house, acquired, or built up by the large players. Some brands have taken on the burden of building themselves as well.
Right now the convergence of reporting systems, ad delivery networks, tracking correctly, and making each dollar spent accountable and as hard working as possible are problems worth solving.
I have had great conversations around this topic recently with folks working on solving them, and I invite anyone working within this area to chime in and tell me their thoughts. This blog is sometimes a free flow of ideas for me to understand a market and this post helps me do exactly that.Advertising, Advertising Agency, Advertising and Marketing, Banner Optimization, Business Intelligence, SEM, Verizon FiOS