11 Ad World Predictions For 2011

1. Data is the New Black

2010 was the year of real-time bidding.  As spend shifted from networks to real-time bidding platforms, agencies and advertisers explored the use of data to improve audience-buying.  

In 2011, this interest will give way to large scale investment.   

This increased investment will fuel the shift to Data 2.0 predicted by Gil Beyda along with continued infrastructure innovation in the growing data management space.

2. maths Men vs. Mad Men Round II – Creative Goes Geek

Just as they’re quickly changing the face of media buying with their data-driven approach, the maths Men will also begin to rock the creative world.  Not only will agencies and advertisers leverage data to deliver more effective dynamic display programs, but they will also use data and analytics to drive the design, execution, and iterative design of creative across their web and mobile applications.

3. Trading Desks Take Flight

In 2010, holding company trading desks like MIG, Vivaki, Cadreon, and Accuen partnered with DSPs, Data Providers, Exchanges, and other vendors to create the capability to execute massive campaigns using real-time bidding platforms.  In 2011, this investment will pay off.  Budgets managed by trading desks will increase by 2-3X, as their total spend managed skyrockets to north of $1B.

4. Big Publishers Start to Look Like Trading Desks

As audiences spend an increasing amount of time online, large publishers have expanded their offerings to capture greater share of ad dollars.  In 2011, publishers like NBC, Hachette, Conde Nast and others will begin to aggressively buy from exchanges – much as trading desks do today – to extend the reach of their offerings to advertisers.  Along those lines, look for publishers to increasingly compete for audience data.

5. Facebook Goes After Google with AdSense Competitor

Facebook has become increasingly important to marketers as it has continued its meteoric rise in the world of display – growing from 10% of online display impressions in 2008 to 25% of impressions in 2010.  In 2010, Facebook will take their ad program to the next level and begin to roll Social Ads out to publishers. This move will be the first major threat to Google’s AdSense, as Facebook will be able to not only leverage page context, but also social targeting mechanisms to deliver increased yield to publishers.

6. Web-Wide Social Targeting War Begins

While Facebook continues to demonstrate the value of social targeting inside of their walled garden, companies like Media6Degrees, 33 Across, Radium One will rapidly scale social targeting programs on the remaining 75% of inventory online.   As Social Targeting becomes increasingly important, agencies, advertisers and platforms will race to acquire social data to fuel competing targeting initiatives.

7. Google Makes a Splash in Social

In 2011, Google will strike back at Facebook.  In the first web boom, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer on the back of Windows to combat the rising threat of Netscape and the web.  Just as Microsoft did during the first boom, Google will leverage their existing scale to launch social capabilities and send a message to the online ecosystem –  we’re here to stay.   Look for this social data to make its way to the Google Display side of the house to help them play in the Social Targeting War.

8. The World Prepares for Mobile Page View Boom

In just a few short years, the number of mobile page views will outnumber the number of page views on desktop computers.  Mobile advertising spend is still hovering around $1B, but in 2011 agencies will begin to test strategies to prepare for 2012 and the mobile ad spend boom.  Look for players in traditional online advertising to make large investments to get ready to capitalise on this massive opportunity.   Given Android’s trajectory, bet on the winners in this space to innovate around this platform.

9. Small Business Becomes Big Business

GroupOn and LivingSocial have demonstrated the awesome power of local advertising, creating multi-billion dollar businesses in just a few short years.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  As the deal-space continues to drive local spend online, there will be a wave of innovations to leverage online behaviour to drive offline activity.  Look for this to be particularly disruptive to the online display market, as locally targeted display offerings start to drive more spend.

10. TV Buyers Move Big Budgets Online

It’s the movie we’ve all been waiting to watch – television buyers, understanding that their empires are moving online,  will begin aggressively launching seven-figure campaigns online.  Companies like TidalTV, Tremor Media, and BrightRoll will begin to strike more significant up-front deals with traditional advertisers for 2012, promising to deliver the scale of television with the accountability of online.   We will start to see rumblings in 2011, but this will set the stage for an all-out land grab in 2011 as media buyers prepare for the TV/Online Video convergence in 2013.

11. Terry Kawaja’s Life Get’s Easier – M&A Consolidation Begins

LUMA Partners attempts to explain the unexplainable with their famous online advertising landscape diagram.  In 2011 the author of that chart – Terry Kawaja – may just get a much deserved break. In preparation for the IPO boom led by Facebook, maturing players such as MediaMath and AppNexus, along with existing incumbents such as Google and Microsoft, will start consolidate the highly-fragmented ecosystem.  Look for a massive exit in 2011 to spark this next wave of consolidation.

This post originally appeared at iMedia Connection.

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