Susan Wojcicki, Google’s senior vice president of advertising gave a keynote about “five ideas for the future of advertising” at the ad:tech conference in San Francisco, at the 10th of April (source forbes.com).
As a Google follower, former Google fan and intensive Google AdWords user, I will give you my vision on the view of the future of advertising according to Susan and so according to Google.
In Susan’s speech: Advertising the lifeblood of the Internet. But it’s undergoing tremendous change. We need to move as fast as the users. So I spend a lot of time at Google thinking about the future of advertising and how we’re going to reinvent it. The first thing we do is think about users and where they’re going and how are they changing their behaviors (source forbes.com).
I agree that the behavior is changing but the question on which base the behavior is changed. The behavior adapts to the new technology, new trends in design, new way of publishing content and so on. But it means that it becomes to be mainstream before the behavior will be changed. “Mainstream behavior” is brought to the market by early adapters. Apple has the early adapters in design, Google has the early technology adapters. The question is if Apple and Google has or had the early adapters. For example, many technology (and copied) projects by Google failed in general.
To come back on “five ideas for the future of advertising” of Susan Wojcicki:
1) Choice: Ad views will be voluntary.
We want to move to a model where the user is choosing to view an ad, she says. We’re paid on a cost-per-click basis where the user chooses to click on the ad. It’s up to the ad system and the publisher to show the right ad at the right time (source forbes.com).
2) Control: Users will participate in the ecosystem if we provide enough value and control.
In order to serve things that are relevant to me, you (ad folks) need to know something about me, she says. It’s really important that the ads are relevant and useful. We know this works (source forbes.com).
I agree for point 1 and 2, the viewer of the ads is in control. The user can give feedback on the ad by giving him the possibility to click the away. Next time he will get (hopefully) a more relevant ad. By using advanced algorithms the ad publish system should recognize the the right ad at the right time.
3) Charm: Ads will be more interactive and beautiful–at scale.
Scale is the important word here. One format we’ve been working on is engagement ads, which give you an opportunity to be more creative (source forbes.com).
Off course but it is not only interactive and beautiful–at scale, it is also about behavior. The viewer needs to be used to it. If the mainstream user is not used to the new type of interactive ad it need to be brought by the early adapters. Probably you can do this by taking a niche segment for a product that is anyway very attractive (for example newest Samsung or iPhone). Most companies don’t have products like that so the question is often how to filter the early adapters.
4) Connected: Ads will help people live their lives on the go.
Users have multiple devices, their lives are fragmented across many devices. And the devices are blurring into each other (source forbes.com).
This is right but unfortunately Google is one of the few who can follow the viewer and so his behavior multiple devices, under the condition that the viewer is logged in with a google account on the various devices. So here is a nice point for Google because it is hard track the behavior multiple devices without having an account on every device (like google account to login in your gmail and other Google services). There are other ways to identify viewers with mobile devices (for example using their GPS data) but these methods are very privacy sensitive.
In other words Google has a very, very big advantage here, if Google can really track the behavior on viewer level over multiple devices and the will be able to show the right ad at the right time. They probably the only one who can do this on a multi-device level for Google account users.
5) Calibration: All ads will be measured. Clicks will be only one type of measurement.
We need the right type of measurement for branding too, Wojcicki says. So if you’re a brand advertiser, you’re thinking about reach and impact. For reach, she says, we’ve been working on Active GRP and Active View metrics and building that into all our products (source forbes.com).
This is obvious but not so easy to find a really good metric for that. I doubt that Active View metrics are the Holy Grail for measuring branding.
My conclusion about the “five ideas for the future of advertising” is that Susan is right. If Google will do it well they have a very big benefit with measuring behavior over multiple devices. But challenge is and will be: How to predict the behavior of the viewer, so publishers can show the right ad at the right time without any irritation of the viewer.
More info about the keynote you can find at forbes.com.