1. “Brand dollars will come online if we just do ____.”Brand dollars will come online, but it won’t be because of ad tech. It will be because television itself comes online. It’s already happening, with blended TV/online buys from most big networks, and the emergence of the “newfront”. Will ad tech need to provide features and functionality, new metrics, and innovative formats to capitalize on this endemic trend? Of course. But the idea of online publishers somehow keelhauling the established TV ad market is the single largest and most consistent fallacy this industry has propagated since its inception.
2. "We don’t need a GRP for digital.”
The Media Kitchen's Darren Herman and I agree on a lot of things, but this is not one of them. Reference point #1 above: TV is coming online, and not the other way around. The GRP needs updating, and validation, but it’s still the currency by which the vast majority of ad revenue today is planned and evaluated, and for an optimal merge of the online and TV ad markets it will necessarily need to remain.
3. “Buying ads is like trading stocks.”Jordan Mitchell said it best here:
"When you buy a share of stock on the NASDAQ or NYSE, you know exactly what you’re getting...In contrast, ad exchanges provide very little transparency or standardized information to what you’re actually buying – they simply offer ad inventory by the tonnage through an auction model and cookie retargeting...This basically means ad exchanges as they exist today are built on “insider trading” principles."
4. “This is the year of mobile."Last year was the year of mobile, actually. I guess if you say it every year you’ll be right once eventually.
“The year 2011 saw mobile advertising become a meaningful category,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S. “By combining some of the best features of the internet, along with portability and location-based technology, mobile advertising is enabling marketers to deliver timely, targeted, relevant, and local advertisements in a manner that was not previously possible. It is for these reasons that we expect strong growth to continue with mobile advertising.”
5. “The digital advertising industry is too crowded.”
Competition breeds innovation and forces vendors to price solutions at rates that encourage widespread trial and adoption of new technology. Without venture capital, and the attendant “crowding”, online advertising would be stuck in 1995, with a ceiling imposed by direct publisher sales, blind inventory, and zero accountability. More than 35% of the vaunted Lumascape has been acquired, which ought to be a strong indicator of value creation of all parties in the ecosystem.
6. “Online advertising is too complicated.”
Inefficient? Sure. Resource intensive? Can be. But is hiring vendors, placing buys, and measuring results really that complex?
7. “Ad networks are dead.”
For the last time, no they’re not. More than 50% of the comScore Top 50 Properties either own or are owned by an ad network. The 26th largest ad network is bigger than the 5th largest publisher. The Google Ad Network is the single largest provider of inventory on the Internet. Can we please stop talking about this now.