There is no shortage of proof that online display advertising is back on firmer ground than it’s been the past two years. Where it goes from this point forward, however, is the estimated $7.5 billion question.
Actually, if current forecasts are correct, it will be the $8.3 billion question – a 10.5-percent increase over last year’s total online display ad revenues. The trajectory is there, but many questions still remain for an industry struggling to overcome more than just an uncertain economy.
AdReady is an advertising technology company that firmly believes in the future of display and offers answers to those questions. One of the most fundamental dilemmas, and the foundation for AdReady’s current platform, is how to make display advertising accessible – and effective – for businesses that don’t have unlimited budgets.
“The vast majority of that $7.5 billion spent on display advertising last year was spent by the top 1,000 companies,” says AdReady CEO Karl Siebrecht. “Probably about 80 percent of it was spent by the top 500 companies. But display advertising works – two-thirds of businesses spend more on display than they do on search. We know that display advertising can be super-effective for companies with enormous budgets. It’s just that the fixed cost to doing it well is very high, and smaller budgets don’t have access. That’s exactly what we are trying to change.”
To that end, AdReady focuses on serving large advertisers and agencies trying to reach micro-targeted segments, and mid-sized and smaller companies trying to be more cost-effective with their digital ad campaigns. By facilitating the launch of what Siebrecht calls “precision campaigns”, the AdReady Digital Display Platform offers a solution to a problem that he says the industry had not been able to solve until now.
“The reality of display advertising,” says Siebrecht, “is that unless you have tens of millions of dollars in your budget you are stuck with two options. You can spend half your budget on the creative it takes to do a campaign effectively, or you can spend less and do a more general campaign. Take a hotel management company, for instance, that has 50 properties across the country. The most effective campaign for that company will devote unique creative to each specific property in each specific market. That’s near impossible to do without an enormous advertising budget at your disposal.”
AdReady’s customizable solutions make it possible for companies of all sizes to create and manage precision ad campaigns such as the one in the example above. Clients using the platform to launch these precision campaigns include BMW, which localizes and regionalizes the creative content of its national campaigns for a more targeted audience, and Alaska Airlines, which drives revenue through its city pairs programs with specific advertising for each individual destination.
AdReady’s suite of creative tools allows advertisers and agencies to build multiple versions of their general message and target them more deeply toward specific audiences. Optimization algorithms and reporting and analytics systems make it possible to sample and test the different versions and select which creative and media work the best for individual segments. AdReady’s automated buying system provides access to the major ad exchanges and friction-free access to an audience of millions of consumers.
“Display advertising has come a long way since 1997 and 1998,” Siebrecht says, “but there is so much more yet to come. The vast majority of ads are still irrelevant to a large part of the audience, but with the developments we are making in targeting today I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface.”