I just finished speaking at the IAB Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, sharing five ideas for how the ad world will look in the future, and announcing a few steps we’re taking today.
I’ve worked on our advertising business at Google for over 10 years now, but the most interesting and dynamic times are yet to come. We are living in uncharted territory. It’s a new kind of computing environment — with more and more people excited about technology and spending a lot of time on devices, driving faster adoption than we have ever seen before. It’s been a long time in computing since we have had this rate of change.
With that in mind, here are the five ideas:
Choice: We are moving rapidly to a choice-based economy, where users choose, with one click, what they see - both ads and content. In years to come, most ad views will effectively become voluntary.
Control: To be relevant in this world, our industry needs to keep investing in providing people with improved controls over the ads they see, so people can tell us what they do and don’t want to see.
Charm: Emerging technologies and devices will finally help us make ads more interactive and beautiful at scale across all digital media.
Connected: As people increasingly carry the web with them all day, across many screens, useful advertising formats and new ad models will emerge to help everyone live their lives on the go.
Calibration: Metrics help the whole ecosystem do better - advertisers can optimize performance and better understand what is right for the user. We need to measure all advertising, and that involves developing standards beyond the click.
As a step toward this future, I announced two new services we’re starting to roll out.
Brand Lift: Surveys
It’s still too hard for brands to measure the impact of their display and video campaigns, beyond simple metrics like clicks and impressions. We’ve made a lot of headway in this area and we’re now starting to roll out surveys, to deliver a more effective way for marketers to easily measure the “brand lift” from their campaigns.
Advertisers will be able to run surveys to measure their display and video campaigns in AdWords, to better understand the impact of their ads in real-time. They can measure things like changes in the awareness of an upcoming movie, the recall of a new product name, intent to purchase a new cereal or the favorability of a particular brand. Businesses will be able to present consumers with an anonymous survey, to be shown days after they see an ad. Responses will be aggregated (and compared to a control group). With these results, brands can calibrate and optimize their online ad campaigns quickly and seamlessly. The rollout has started for marketers running video campaigns on YouTube and will be broadened to include display ad campaigns.
The surveys are powered by Google Consumer Surveys, which is already helping lots of businesses conduct fast, accurate, & affordable market research. (In fact, Nate Silver, of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog - concluded that Google Consumer Surveys was the #1 most accurate poll online and the #2 most accurate poll overall in last year’s Presidential election). It’s also helping publishers like USA Today Sports, Bloomberg, San Jose Mercury News and Boston.com earn revenues to fund their content, by showing surveys on their sites.
TrueView in AdMob and games
We’ve seen that a choice-based ad model can be very successful, with more than 70% of in-stream ads on YouTube now skippable. We’re now bringing the TrueView skippable format to mobile apps in AdMob and to online games that participate in the Google Display Network. This extends the reach of TrueView campaigns, provides more revenue for our partners, and puts people in control of the ads they see. The beta will kick off next week with several partners including Activision, Gameloft, Kongregate, and Miniclip.
I’m excited to work with others in the IAB, because advertising is crucial to funding content and services online. As marketing and media move headlong into a digital future, our industry has a unique opportunity to build a future that helps drive our economy, and the web, forward.
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