Advertising will change more in the next five years than it did in the last fifty

In the words of IBM:

The next five years will hold more change for the advertising industry than the previous 50 did. Increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant advertisers and ever-evolving technologies are re-defining how advertising is sold, created, consumed and tracked.”

From The end of advertising as we know it, IBM 2007.

Spot on. There are huge budgets at stake in a rapidly evolving market place and that means good opportunities for startups.

For IBM there are four drivers:

  • Attention is increasingly controlled by consumers as media consumption moves away from the TV and due to ad skipping/blocking technologies
  • The rise of UGC is enabling engagement marketing
  • New channels and technologies are enabling measurement of advertising effectiveness for the first time
  • The rise of exchanges is changing the way advertising is bought and sold

….. which will demand two key changes (and this is IBM plus a bit of me)

  • Demand from advertisers for transparency on how their budgets are spent and what the results are. Over time this could go as far as cross channel comparability and allocation of budget to different channels and formats based on performance. This might even get automated.
  • Greater creativity in advertising – traditional and online. This will take many forms, a lot of which I suspect haven’t even been thought of yet – but are necessary to overcome online ad-blindness and ad-skipping technologies in video. Part of the answer could well be innovative models that make explicit the exchange of advertising attention for content, and potentially even for cash. (Check this out for a fun example.)

If you read the IBM presentation (which I warn you is a bit of a slog…) then you will see they have a lot of survey data to back these ideas up.
Credit goes to Tomoaki Sowada for the pointer to the IBM presentation.