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DIY Online Display Advertising – Expanding the Playing Field for Online Media

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The online advertising market is growing. We’ve all seen the stats. We’ve all see the projections. Yes, advertisers did spend $21.4 Billion in 2007, and by 2011 this number is expected to grow to $42 Billion. (Source: eMarketer)

So, what is fueling this growth? The most common explanation seems to always be the shift of traditional media dollars into online. This is certainly logical when you look at the sky rocking projections for online growth and the flat line projections for traditional media. However, other explanations include a general increase in overall cost of doing business; I mean prices are certainly going to rise over time. Additionally, as the online advertising market evolves and proves to be more and more effective, whether or not advertisers cut their budget in other mediums, they are going to surely commit more and more dollars to online as it becomes more and more central to all advertising strategies.

However, there is another key factor fueling this growth that I feel is often overlooked – The small business advertiser.

The fact is, online advertising spending has for years been fueled by big advertisers, with big budgets. This is particularly true in the case of Online Display advertising, which accounted for $4.7 Billion in spending in 2007 and is expected to rise to $8.2 Billion in 2011. (Source: eMarketer)

The rise of the Small Business advertiser was first noticed with the advent of paid search, which enabled advertisers from all walks of business, with varying degrees of budget, to easily go online and reach consumers. Paid Search took off as it was “easy to get” in that there are essentially three major channels (Google, Yahoo, MSN) and all ad units are standardized. Therefore, launching a campaign was essentially deemed “easy” and small businesses readily jumped into the game.

However, when it came to Online Display, the second largest online advertising medium by dollars spent, small businesses have been essentially locked out. Launching a campaign is deemed intimidating. There are 15 standard ad sizes that need to be built, eye catching creative to be designed and a universe of placement opportunities that is seemingly endless. The fact is, until now, small businesses, which don’t have the resources or finances to hire an agency or even someone dedicated to marketing, have been locked out of the Online Display landscape.

Until Now
? What do I mean by this?

Well, there are now three relatively new companies that are in the process of changing the face of Online Display advertising. These companies are making it easy and cost-effective to develop display creative, buy media and even launch video ads… which will surely play a role in fueling the growth of this category. So who are these companies and what are they doing?

  • AdReady http://www.adready.com/
    AdReady is an advertising technology company focused on making Online Display advertising accessible and effective for advertisers. Through AdReady’s data-rich library of proven creative, real-time ad customization tools and intuitive web-based interface, AdReady makes it easy to for those who don’t have the resources to develop their own creative and messaging to build and run effective Online Display ads.

    Now the plus of AdReady is that it does make it easy to develop display ads and they do offer a lot of choices that suit a variety of verticals. However, for companies concerned with branding and having original creative, this could prove to be problematic, as AdReady’s creative solutions are not something you have developed exclusively.

  • AdBrite http://www.adbrite.com/
    AdBrite bills themselves as the Internet’s Ad Marketplace. It helps advertisers of all sizes plan a media buy that is based on targeting everything from Geography, Age, Gender, Income and more. In short, the company makes it easy to buy advertising online, giving advertisers transparency and control. With banner and text ads, as well as innovative formats like BritePic, InVideo and Full Page Ad, AdBrite has created an effective advertising marketplace for advertisers. AdBrite helps advertisers tap into highly targeted demographics across 50,000+ premium and trusted sites, reaching over 79 million unique users every month. AdBrite serves ads on over one billion pages a day.

    Now the plus of AdBrite is that it makes it easy to navigate the complex world of online media and deploy a targeted buy. However, at the same time, you are limited to the sites on their network and while you can target via a number of demographic options, you do not get to definitively select your sites. However, it’s a good place to start.

  • AditAllhttp://www.aditall.com/
    AditAll is a video advertising community where users can quickly, simply and inexpensively create, produce and distribute video ads.

    AditAll brings low-cost, high-quality ad production capabilities to anyone. Their patent pending platform lets advertisers choose a “Pre-Packaged” ad from an inventory created by their producer community and quickly customize it. Advertisers can also select video and music clips and combine them into a unique ad using the”Start from Scratch” feature. Additionally, advertisers can post ad requests for specific ideas that producers can develop into video ads meeting these requirements.

    Talk about something that is sure to boost the market for Video Ads! Very cool. This is one area where not only small businesses, but many medium-sized and large businesses, have had virtually no creative representation. The fact is, unless your company has had some kind of broadcast focus in the past, this is very likely an untapped advertising medium. However, AdItAll really seems poised to change this.

    Additionally, if your company is hesitant to produce its own video advertising, you might want to consider using AdItAll to test the medium and show that it works. By demonstrating to the skeptics that this is in fact an effective medium, maybe your company will be more willing to commit the budget to produce its own exclusive video advertising.

Ultimately, by leveling the playing field for Online Display, everyone is going to benefit. Now some may view applications and technologies such as AditAll, AdBrite and AdReady as threatening to agencies; but this should not be the case. The fact is, organizations that make a significant marketing investment will continue to hire agencies as their strategic partners and to guide this process. This is not about the Death of the Agency, but rather the Birth of Small Business.

What I mean by this is that the DIY platforms will enable those that were not previously part of the Online Display landscape to now be part of it. This is a good thing for everyone, as it will fuel continued growth. The fact is, as more and more businesses recognize the power of online advertising, everyone who is involved in the space will benefit and it will ensure that predictions of future growth will not just be predictions, but more importantly – the reality.

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