AlwaysOn: Online Viewers vs. Online Ad Dollars

AlwaysOn.jpgIs there a disconnect between the number of online viewers and the amount of advertising dollars spent online?

Advertising executives today weighed that question at AlwaysOn in New York City, a conference that examines technology’s impact on marketing, advertising, and media.

Bruce Nelson, vice chairman, Omnicom, pointed out that cable television secured 3.5 percent of all ad dollars 10 years after the medium’s debut. A decade after online media appeared, digital advertising accounted for 7.7 percent of all ad dollars in 2007, he said.
“Though we live in impatient times. We’re moving very fast,” Nelson said.

Penry Price, VP of advertising sales at Google, suggested that the online industry hasn’t done a good job of managing expectations since its early days. “The online industry, 10 years ago, set itself up for failure,” he said.

Elaborating, he said: “The challenge is [online] viewership is looked at differently than traditional media.” While there’s an emphasis on “engagement” over viewers, he said there’s no one opinion on how to define engagement.

Bob Jeffrey, JWT Worldwide’s chief executive, contended that his clients are investing in digital advertising. “There’s not one client who’s not obsessed with online,” he said.

Michael Leo, chief executive of ad operations company Operative, said advertising dollars are not moving online as fast as they could because there’s a talent shortage.
“We need more people who can help us scale this industry,” he said.

Jacqueline Corbelli, CEO, Brightline iTV marketing firm, said advertisers are confused about their options and aren’t getting sufficient guidance on how to allocate their ad dollars. “Consumers are integrating, weaving digital media into their lives,” she said, saying that’s not occurring in business.

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