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Panpa Bulletin : April 2006
44 | PaNPa bUlletiN april 2006 beSt of the Web rohan GoSStraY technology is now enabling information to be deliv- ered to the individual on a multitude of devices in a range of formats. Companies have now emerged that specialise in deliv- ering advertising to the new dig- ital platforms. In fact, advertising technology is now the commer- cial heart of many web sites. New advertising technologies will im- pact on traditional display adver- tising, but what will the impact be and what position will news- papers occupy in the advertising mix? One of the largest players in the ad-serving revolution is the glo- bal player Accipiter. Accipiter has already been adopted by three of Australia's biggest media play- ers: News Interactive, Sensis, and Nine MSN. Hostworks in Austral- ia provide regional support for the technology. Klaus Bartosch, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hostworks, outlined to me some of the functionality Accip- iter provides for the advertiser. Ad-serving technology pro- vides targeting and tracking of advertising. Targeting can be based on user-supplied informa- tion, visitor viewing activity and/ or geographic location. Track- ing can measure the number of impressions (opportunities to view the ad), click-through rates, and 'view-throughs' or tracking through to the desired action being taken. A frequency limit can be set using a small code or 'cookie' placed on the computer from which the visit originates. The amount spent on a cam- paign can be capped, and the time of day the ad is delivered can also be set. One of the more interesting features of ad-serving technol- ogy is the capability to test the effectiveness of advertisements. A range of advertisements can be placed to promote the same product or service. The ad-server will adjust the number of times each ad is served based on its effectiveness. The most effec- tive advertisement will be served more often. The Accipter tech- nology can also deliver advertise- ments across other electronic platforms as part of the same campaign. Advertising on the Internet has the ability to include video, animation and audio and pro- vides a level of interactivity not available in print. In fact, at an Internet conference I attended in Houston run by Editor and Pub- lisher magazine in 1997, I have vivid memories of an excited in- dividual raving that Internet ads were better than newspaper ads because they were colourful and they moved. I think they walked him out and shot him! The potential for an advertiser to get a better return on invest- ment using ad-serving technolo- gy in comparison to other media is very real and is, in part, con- tributing to a loss of advertising from existing media. I have had direct experience with an adver- tiser who just recently ended a $50,000 per annum contract with the Yellow Pages because testing showed that over 90 percent of inquiries were originating from the Internet. A less apparent but nevertheless important dynamic described by Lori Silver at Clear Light Digital (a web marketing firm in Melbourne) is that it is of- ten easier for marketing directors to get financial support for pro- grams that demonstrate clearly measurable results. The directors of CLD described Internet advertising as a form of direct marketing. Like me, they consider themselves loyal read- ers of their newspaper of choice, irrespective of whether they view it online or in the printed version. The format used depends on cir- cumstances and personal prefer- ence. The directors expressed the view that newspapers offer cred- ibility to advertisers and have strong branding potential, which is ironic as newspaper managers have often held an opposite view, believing that their product has failed to derive sustainable ad- vantage from this potential. Publishers have the opportu- nity to push their brand, not just the medium - and sales teams should provide more integrated solutions to help advertisers tar- get their audience across media formats. This approach has been given added leverage by the ap- pearance of 'integration man- agers' in larger operations. The challenge for newspapers will be in managing the tension be- tween achieving internal depart- ment budgets, while providing seamless marketing solutions to advertisers. Those publishers with web- sites have an available forum for testing advertising effectiveness online with a target audience before an advertisement appears in the newspaper. There will be a challenge, or perhaps an oppor- tunity, for newspapers to apply rigorous evaluation of and ac- countability for their advertising performance. It is essential in today's market that newspapers ensure advertisers are running effective ads in the paper or the medium will be blamed for a poor result. Emphasis should be placed on advertising perform- ance or, over time, the newspa- per will lose more market share than is justified. While Internet advertising presents a strong case for adver- tisers it should be remembered that a newspaper can provide a more cost effective exposure, faster, for a range of audiences. Newspapers, particularly region- al publications, have very high penetration in their markets and continue to be a very efficient ad- vertising medium. This position will strengthen as the Internet advertising market continues to fragment, driven by intense competition and low barriers to entry. As classifieds drift towards more flexible and cost effec- tive formats on the Internet, the printed publication must focus on delivering a wide, relevant au- dience quickly and cost effective- ly. Advertising on the Internet has similar properties to broadcast media in that the reach is cumu- lative and generated over time. With existing diffusion of Internet audiences across a multitude of websites, the mass-market ap- peal of newspapers remains one of its enduring strengths. Rohan Gosstray is a regular judge of the PANPA Advertis- ing and Marketing Awards, and an early starter in the integra- tion of internet and newspaper publishing culture. rgosstray@ gmail.com. The challenge for newspapers will be in managing the tension between achieving internal department budgets, while providing seamless marketing solutions to advertisers The revolution in digital advertising technology Rohan Gosstray looks as developments in online advertising technology and the implications for newspapers.