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
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