Trends and Forecast for Display Advertising in 2012

Trends and Forecast for Display Advertising in 2012

With spending for display advertising on track to increase significantly in 2012 –- 31 percent of US marketers and agencies planned to increase display ad spending on ad networks and exchanges in 2012* — you can be assured that marketers will continue to look for new ways to engage their customers.

From the use of video and location-based technology, to more media rich and user-controlled functionality, the display advertising industry is wide open for creative innovations. Whether it’s within the confines of an online display box or on the side of a bus stop, interactive messaging is the top-billed topic of conversation in the display ad industry.

The theme for “The Future of Display” conference hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in June 2011, revolved around how brand marketers can harness the power of interactive to deliver engaging, immersive, and brand-building experiences beyond the confines of the traditional display box.

Randall Rothenberg, IAB’s President and CEO, said, “It is time to admit to ourselves that almost everything we have done over the past decade optimizes interactive media for direct response and promotional advertising. We must redouble our efforts as an industry to both prove and illustrate that we build brands; for if we do not, we will simply become a substitute for the U.S. Postal Service.”

The Gap, the U.S.’s largest specialty apparel retailer, recently ran a campaign that combined traditional display advertising with geo-fencing technology. In just over two weeks during February and March, they delivered 2.5 million mobile ad impressions through Zynga’s Words With Friends app. The ads featured $10 off coupons sent to mobile phone users who were standing near metropolitan transport locations (e.g. bus stops) that featured display ads for The Gap. In this case, the mobile ads resulted in more than double the average CTR for mobile ads.

In addition to mobile tag team strategies like this one, brands are looking to capture user attention with the use of video in their banner and display advertising. The most effective video delivery method (e.g. auto-play, click-to-expand, hover-to-play) is still a topic of debate, but the general consensus in the advertising industry seems to be that video is an extremely powerful tool for raising brand awareness and garnering consumer attention.

Even if you happen to be one of the few who don’t believe in the innate power of video, the number of people streaming videos online should be enough to peak the interest of anyone in the advertising industry. In 2011, the number of Americans streaming videos grew 43 percent to 100 million viewers a day, and online video advertising viewership grew by 49 percent.**

If your current marketing budget doesn’t allow for the costs of integrating video or implementing more comprehensive mobile strategies, perhaps you could work to design more richly formatted display advertising, or ads that employ LIVE data to deliver customized offers in real time.

Real Time Offers are available to businesses of all sizes to pull important data about the buying behaviors and shopping personalities of their site visitors, and then use that information to develop highly-relevant, actionable ads that are served on your site instantly – while your customers are still shopping.

Regardless of what your budget may be for purchasing display ads, the multitude of choices available to online retailers today ensures that anyone who chooses to implement this form of advertising will have an option within their price point. Whether it’s video, mobile, behaviorally-targeted, or user-directed experiences — 2012 definitely seems to be the year that the industry will begin to harness the power of display advertising.

by Aubrey Beck, Content

* According to research conducted by Advertiser Perceptions at the end of 2011
** According to a Path to Purchase Institute and comScore report
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