Brand mangers have demonstrated they'll go where they can find their target audience. This year, it will be online.
Performance-based online advertising gets a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. Google, its largest purveyor and most visible champion, has grown from nowhere into a billion-dollar-a-quarter advertising behemoth in matter of just a few years. Performance-based ad networks like ValueClick, Advertising.com (acquired last year by AOL), and Fastclick have seen their revenues grow exponentially and have been all over the headlines as of late as the greater advertising world discovers the measurability, predictability, and cost-effectiveness of cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-action (CPA) advertising.
Performance-based online advertising growth won't slow down any time soon. It's going to be a huge year.
Big as it will be, performance-based advertising won't be this year's biggest online advertising story. The real surprise will be the growth of brand advertising online. Here's why:
What are the implications of a huge year for online brand advertising?
The big getting bigger is an old story in media. But opportunities for smaller, more flexible publishers who can deliver more value through audience composition, refined targeting, or imaginative use of new ad aps, are there. Getting and staying on besieged media buyers' radar screens will be harder, but not impossible. All the experimentation with product placement, guerilla marketing, and unusual ad units (in all media), brand mangers have demonstrated they'll go where they can find their target audience.
This year, it will be online.
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