As more and more ad dol­lars come online in 2009, adver­tis­ers will nat­u­rally fol­low the con­sumers. So, where are the con­sumers? Or, to put it a finer point on it, who con­trols the largest share of ad units?

The Stan­dard Oil Of Online Adver­tis­ing?
Henry Blod­get writes in Sil­i­con Val­ley Insider that Google is going to “con­tinue an inex­orable march to 80–90% share” of the search mar­ket. As of Novem­ber 2008, they con­trolled 63.5%, up from their Octo­ber share of 63.3% while Microsoft, Ask and AOL have all seen their shares decline. Seri­ously guys, pull it together or Blodget’s omi­nous pre­dic­tion may come true.

On the dis­play side it’s more of the same. A recent Attrib­u­tor study shows Dou­bleclick (owned by Google) and AdSense (ditto) con­trol a col­lec­tive 57% of the dis­play mar­ket. Granted, AdSense dis­plays three text ads per unit so those num­bers are inflated, but by com­par­i­son Yahoo! — a pre­mier pub­lisher and one of the most vis­ited sites on the planet — has only 9.7%. Microsoft, which owns Atlas, has a mea­ger 4%. As I said ear­lier, pull it together (or merge once and for all) or you’re toast.

What’s An Adver­tiser To Do?
It goes with­out say­ing that adver­tis­ers reach the most tar­geted audi­ence they can find at the best pos­si­ble price. How­ever, one of the many down­sides to this con­sol­i­da­tion is ris­ing CPC and CPM costs. We can’t afford to pay more for the same amount of traf­fic we were get­ting yes­ter­day, sim­ply because the pub­lisher mar­ket is consolidating.

Adver­tis­ers need to dig a lit­tle deeper than just fol­low­ing the eye­balls. They need to take an objec­tive view on where they spend their money. What’s con­vert­ing the best? How are you mea­sur­ing social media, mobile, video, email, affil­i­ate traf­fic, paid search, organic search and so on? How are you attribut­ing your con­ver­sions across all of these channels?

Don’t just blindly fol­low the mar­ket trends and over­pay for ads. Mea­sure, test and opti­mize. This may already be the advertiser’s mantra, but as the mar­ket forces work against us in the com­ing years it will need to become our way of life.

2 comments
raised garden bed kits
raised garden bed kits

Hello, I'm the manager of a raised garden bed business and this rings very true, even more so now with the sky rocketing CPC advertising. We must now work smarter targeting keywords accurately and also geographic targeting can improve conversions, but it’s not as simple as it used to be back in the day!

tim
tim

Random slightly related question. When do you think we will see doubleclick DFP genesis plug in? We have a DFA plug in but no DFP plug in.