The Rise of the Digital Natives and the Move ‘Beyond the Click’: Vibrant CEO Makes Online Advertising Predictions for 2012

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As the year comes to a close, Vibrant CEO and industry expert Cella Irvine looks ahead and shares online advertising predictions for 2012. Her top five predictions emphasize social, mobile, data and context among the dominant trends.

Social, mobile, data and context are among the dominant trends in online advertising for 2012, says Cella Irvine, Vibrant CEO.

As the year comes to a close, Vibrant CEO and industry expert Cella Irvine looks ahead and shares online advertising predictions for 2012. Her top five predictions emphasize social, mobile, data and context among the dominant trends. With eMarketer projecting a 14.4% increase in US online ad spending, digital will take on new prominence, and the following are Irvine’s 'Online Advertising Predictions' for 2012:

A stunning 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media. With the emerging maturity of these digital natives, advertisers need to grow engagement with a socially driven generation that turns to friends as a first source of authority. At the same time, worldwide social-network advertising revenues will reach $8 billion next year (eMarketer). Brands looking to increase mileage for their social media assets must surface their content in new ad formats that push their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to consumers in a relevant context, as opposed to pulling them away to their social media. Digital-native consumers will expect that what is of most value to them will come to them, from friends or networks, rather than from sources they search out. More “Like” buttons are spreading across the Web, too, and increasing integration of social-sharing utilities such as social toolbars will continue to add new value to content.

It is projected that by 2014, spending on mobile advertising will more than double from 2011, reaching $2.5 billion (eMarketer). We also know that consumer behavior is on the move, with mobile Internet usage expected to soon surpass desktop. Next year will see the arrival of sleek new tablets and mobile devices with better touch screens and more adaptive interfaces. The surge of multi-screen/multi-app engagement – users who use devices while watching TV – will continue to grow. Tablets have already replaced desktops as the preferred companion device to TV. Expect to see consumers look for ways to scale down the number of separate devices they now carry in favor of one tablet and one phone: the laptop will wane. This rapid shift to mobile is changing the way ads work, and advertisers must cater to consumers’ shifting needs. For example, geo-targeted, locally relevant marketing will hold great appeal for brands and consumers as 63 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds already use geosocial check-ins or location-based services. For example, see Lowe’s award-winning holiday campaign, which used a custom in-text store locator ad unit to deliver geo-targeted product deals within relevant, topical and seasonal content.

Ads are growing more dynamic and multifunctional every day, and the continuing need to demonstrate ROI fuels the search for better metrics. Nowadays the best campaigns are interactive – providing users with engaging search boxes, news tickers, and gaming portals. Advertisers will look more closely at user behavior with pre- and post-click data to get more mileage out of campaigns. We are seeing a growth in technology that can more clearly measure reader engagement and retention. There will be a continued interest in gathering and analyzing data that can go beyond CTRs and counting clicks. With these results available, we will see that all content is not created equal, and that despite the recent increase in content volume, results will come from placements in better quality environments.

Video – pre-roll, in-stream and beyond – presents new opportunities for engagement. With rapidly growing ad deliveries in 2011, online video has emerged as the fastest-growing digital advertising format attracting a record $2.2 billion in spending, up 52.1% from 2010 (eMarketer). By 2015, online video is expected to account for $7.1 billion in online ad spending. In 2012, video will be even more creative, engaging, useful and innovative. Advertisers are no longer simply taking what works on TV and placing it online. We are seeing a revolution in video, with more creative content coming directly from users, which helps brands engage their audience more meaningfully. At Vibrant, our approach is bringing sight, sound and motion together to deliver an immersive, user-initiated experience that is delivering compelling results for advertisers.

Time and again, the most engaging ads (in-text, display and toolbar) offer users relevant content within the context of the page they’re viewing. Looking at award-winning ad campaigns in 2011, it is a trend that will take us into 2012. Next year we will continue to see the most successful advertising providing relevant content that changes dynamically to give users information they can use, from recipes, weather reports and traffic conditions to deals at local stores and up-to-date sports scores.Click here to watch industry leaders discuss the power of contextual relevancy, including remarks from Vibrant CEO Cella Irvine.

About Vibrant
Vibrant is a world leader in contextual technology aligning billions of words across the Internet with relevant video, information, tools, and advertising. With over 6,000 premium publishers, reaching more than 250 million unique users per month (comScore, 2011), Vibrant gives top brand marketers the opportunity to deliver highly targeted advertisements within premium Web content and offers publishers premium editorial tools to re-circulate users throughout their websites. Vibrant works with top brand advertisers such as Microsoft, Unilever, Chrysler and AT&T. The company was founded in 2000 and has offices in London, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf. Vibrant's rapid growth has been recognized by the Inc. 500 and Deloitte Fast 50 lists.


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