CAMPAIGN-I: Perspective - Accountability is a net ad's best asset

For those of you who are not aware, third-party internet adserving

is critical for the future of digital media. In its simplest form, a

server delivers the ad banners purchased by agencies to sites in the

spaces that have been booked. What can be a technologically

brain-numbing subject actually represents a number of very interesting

and fundamental changes in media accountability, user targeting,

branding and, critically, the return on investment.

However, as the PC internet market rapidly distills the prices agencies

and clients find palatable, the price of delivering those banners and

other forms of internet advertising can represent up to 20 per cent of

the total cost of communication.

Digital is increasingly the most accountable medium, with electronically

measured and actual exposures rather than the surveys and representative

studies employed by BARB, NRS and RAJAR. The internet environment offers

an intrusive communication opportunity targeting users in an active and

attentive mindset sitting 14 inches away from the computer screen.

How many times have media planners wanted to target consumers with

messages in sequence to build brand dialogue? Dynamic-user targeting

allows brands to talk to consumers with sequential messaging, delivering

real value by serving banners depending on whether they are registered

users or new visitors.

It is imperative the branding effect of internet advertising stacks up

if it is to attract more investment. Users who have seen ads online,

didn't immediately click, but then visited the advertisers' site up to

three months post advertising, can be tracked, allowing agencies to

prove how internet advertising can build awareness.

So with the value of third-party adserving clearly identified, the

question I find myself asking is: at what cost?

In a relatively immature marketplace with many investments made in

thousands rather than millions, the relative capital costs of adserving

remain low.

My concern is that as the market needs to grow, third-party adserving

could price itself out of the market without a sensible pricing policy

in comparison to the total marketing spend.

The last thing we need is for the very advertisers who are most in need

of this service to discount what is a seismic shift in monitoring

advertising effectiveness.