What the Future Holds for Online Display Advertising

On the 22nd of January, Net Media Planet’s Sri Sharma and Andrew Turner joined PerformanceIN for an exclusive webinar on Display Advertising: What to Expect in 2015.
As the fastest growing digital advertising channel, Online Display Advertising is rapidly becoming a critical channel for UK advertisers. Now is the time for marketers to adapt to the developments in Online Display Advertising in order to maximise their online performance across multiple channels and devices.

Sri and Andrew discuss four areas that show growth and promise in 2015:

(1) Programmatic Growth Through Video: Part of the reason Online Display Advertising is growing so rapidly is because of Programmatic Video Advertising. More video inventory is becoming available to purchase programmatically through sources such as 4OD and Google Preferred. Also, online video consumption is expected to grow by 9% this year.
(2) Facebook Steals a Charge: While Google holds the largest percentage of market share, Facebook is growing faster at a rate of 15.6% growth versus Google’s 1.8%. We are seeing increasing advertising performance through Facebook, which will lead to an increase in spend from advertisers; and, Facebook’s DSP, Atlas, is expected to revolutionise cross-device remarketing.
(3) Richness of Creatives: Rich creative formats such as dynamic ads; expandable mobile ads; and native advertising, will drive Online Display Advertising engagement. Expect standard banner ads to get superseded by these new rich creatives and Programmatic Native Advertising will open up whole new growth.
(4) Wearables Meet Display: Wearable technology has shown incredible growth over the past year and as it becomes more mainstream Online Display Advertising opportunities are sure to follow. FitAd is the first company to sell online display ads programmatically across wearables. This technology will allow advertisers to target based on location, body signals and activity.
To get more in-depth insights on Online Display Advertising, watch the full video of the webinar:

Download the slides:

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our Display Specialists, visit our Contact Us page or call us at 020 186 2100.

2014 Christmas Sales Trends and Insights

This Christmas just passed, the UK saw some interesting and rather unexpected shopping trends. The rate at which consumers purchased online seemed to outpace even what the most experienced retailers forecasted; “click and collect” was the delivery method of choice, and mobile sales surpassed all expectations. According to IMRG there was a 14% increase in total year-on-year (YoY) sales growth during the Christmas period 2014, with approximately £21.6bn spent online from the 2nd November to the 27th December 2014.
At Net Media Planet, we have gathered our own statistical analysis of the Christmas period and here is what we found. The top 5 days ranked by sales volume for 2014 and 2013:

The top 3 insights from Q4 2014 digital sales:
• Black Friday remained the highest sales volume day of the year and the percent increase of sales volume vs the Q4 average on this day increased from a 90% uplift in 2013 to a 187% uplift in 2014, driven by a YoY increase in traffic volumes. This is likely owing to a higher awareness of Black Friday, and an increase in the number of merchants running Black Friday offers outside of North America.
• Cyber Monday did not see as large a spike in traffic as in 2013 (34% uplift vs Q4 average in 2014 vs a 50% uplift in 2013). This is likely owing to promotions being spread over a longer period in 2014, compared to previous years when it was more centralised around Black Friday/Cyber Monday as well as more shoppers purchasing closer to Christmas. The uplift in conversion rate on Cyber Monday did increase compared to 2013. However, it dropped from being the 2nd highest ranking sales day in 2013, to 3rd in 2014, losing out to Friday 12th December which saw a larger increase in both traffic and conversion rate compared to 2013.
• Sofa Sunday, the Sunday within the Cyber Weekend, saw an increase this year from being ranked 5th in terms of sales volumes in 2013, to 4th in 2014 owing to conversion rates being 52% above the Q4 average, compared to 32% in 2013.

Year-on-year it was a prosperous end to 2014 for eCommerce. As growth continues, investment into new online digital advertising channels will only continue to increase. The future of digital advertising is exciting, and we can expect great technological advances over the next year.

Join Our Free Display Advertising Insights Webinar

Display Advertising: What to Expect in 2015

Date: Thursday, 22 January 2015 at 2:00 PM (GMT)
Featuring: CEO, Sri Sharma & Head of Display Sales, Andrew Turner

Net Media Planet is pleased to announce that we will be joining up with PerformanceIN to share our predictions for Online Display Advertising in 2015.
As the fastest growing digital advertising channel, Online Display Advertising is rapidly becoming a critical channel for UK advertisers.Learn more about what the future holds for Online Display Advertising across the areas of Programmatic, Mobile and Video display advertising.
We will explore how marketers should adapt to developments in Online Display Advertising expected in 2015 in order to maximise their online performance across multiple channels and devices.
Spaces are limited so register today!

5 Digital Predictions for 2015

After 2014’s year of digital growth, another exciting year awaits with opportunities in abundance. Here are my 5 predictions to help brands take full advantage of the year ahead. Best of luck!

1) Amazon Challenges Google for the Advertising Throne

Google and Amazon are both competing to be the first place that online consumers turn to, to hunt for products and services. While Google has always been seen as the “King of Search,” search queries on Amazon’s website have been increasing by 47% year on year, according to ComScore.
We are seeing Amazon encroach on Google’s turf, having built its own advertising system to manage text ads within Amazon that used to be provided by Google. Clearly this advertising system is intending to control the pricing and capture more consumer data.
In addition, Amazon are looking to compete with Google’s 3rd party Display advertising network. The Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), allows advertisers to “Reach de-identified yet targetable Amazon customers on Amazon owned and operated sites and on other high quality websites.” The APP has been around for a couple of years but Amazon is kicking it up a notch by testing new types of ads becoming more on a par with Google’s Display Network offering.
Amazon is not only trying to steal Google’s market share in Paid Search and Display sectors. Within the devices world, Amazon has extended its offering to now include not just the Kindle and Kindle Fire tablets but also the Fire phone. All with built in potential for advertising and data collection. In fact, advertisers can purchase full page display advertising on the Kindle Fire homescreen.

It’s not just Amazon encroaching on Google’s territory but Google is encroaching on Amazon’s retail turf as well. We have seen the expansion of Google Shopping over the past year and big tests such as, Google Shopping Express, offering one hour delivery to several cities across US, and local shopping feeds that share real-time inventory stock and availability of nearby physical stores.
You can just imagine a mobile user in store choosing to either check prices on Amazon to buy online or on Google where in one click they could either buy online or be directed to a cheaper physical competing store. For consumers, whether interacting with advertising or shopping, this all means greater choice. And so for brands whilst this means multiple advertising platforms and increased complexity, competition can only present more opportunity.

2) Personalisation Takes Priority

Consumers have more choice than ever before and according to eConsultancy, consumers will make 9.5 visits to a website before deciding to buy versus only 2.5 visits just 2 years ago. So, it’s more important than ever that brands reach the right audience and give them an experience that is personal and hyper relevant. Infact, according to Forrester, personalisation improves sales performance by 19%.
Over the last year we have seen an increase in the number of brands using data to personalise marketing campaigns. Asos, who sees the power of personalisation, has embarked upon a huge personalisation project in 2014. The campaign considers users’ past behaviours such as, what they browsed and purchased, the colours preferred, the “saved for later” items, their path through the website, users’ size and returns. They are currently rolling this project out globally.
In display advertising and particularly the programmatic space, brands have the opportunity to reach the absolutely right audience and create an engaging and personal message. Products such as SkyAdsmart, launched formally in 2014, provides precise targeting for television advertising using Experian data. Due to its engaging and targeted nature, native advertising’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past 2 years, with a 113% increase in spend since 2012 according to eMarketer.com. Native Advertising offerings such as, Yahoo In-stream Ads and platforms such as Nexage deliver personalised messages to users using relevant content.
The smart brands will bring personalisation on-site and across marketing channels such as display, search and email. Tying this together in one integrated experience off and on site will be what pioneers will achieve in 2015.
Take a look at a recent presentation I gave on winning hearts using personalisation.

3) Online and Physical Stores Draw Closer

65% of shoppers visit physical stores before purchasing online so, it is imperative that physical retailers use the latest in technology to engage in-store consumers in all the ways they can. In fact, 60% of physical retailers intend to test beacon technology in 2015.
First and foremost, this will be about improving consumer experience during the in-store experience leveraging new digital technology. John Lewis has invested in beacon technology that will potentially ease the Click & Collect process. This technology will detect when a customer walks into a store and alert staff to prepare their purchased items. Furthermore, if a consumer has an online wish list it can direct them to the correct departments and even allow them to pay for their items with their smartphones.
Beyond the customer experience, many advertisers face the omni-channel dilemma – how to connect online and mobile activity to in-store purchases. In 2015 Google AdWords will be launching its in-store conversion tracking product which recognises cross-device online users when they walk into a physical store. Facebook has also announced its online to offline solution with Atlas, its new DSP. This will be another step in tracking online to in-store beyond other marketing techniques such as, vouchers.
2015 will see new technology and new ideas to improve in-store experience and importantly sales.

4) Creativity Remains Key

Today the Holy Grail is both a consistent omni-channel experience and a truly personalised experience for the customer. So what’s next and how will you differentiate into the future?
This question has had me pondering recently and it made me think about something I recently read from Ideo’s founder, Tim Brown, who reviewed the book “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson. In the book, an example is drawn out by Dame Ada Lovelace who lived back in the 1800s and was the famous Lord Byron’s daughter. Trained in both the arts and mathematics, she was well ahead of her time with her exploration of some of the basic concepts that would drive the development of computers.
She achieved this by tapping into the left side of her brain, the analytical mind, and more importantly the right side of her brain, the creative mind. It is the creative mind that allowed her to envision something that had never before been conceptualised by mankind.
Technology implementation and insight from data will be key to omni-channel and personalisation, but to go beyond will take creativity. Those that use creativity and a sense of innovative flair will be able to differentiate their products and their marketing. The rest will play perpetual catch-up.

5) Wearables and Data Signals for Marketing

Last year I talked about the expansion of the wearable technology market. I also discussed the real time marketing possibilities that will emerge as wearables become more mainstream. Though we have seen inklings of these predictions starting to arise, there’s still more to come.
We did see an incredible number of wearables released onto the market including, Google Glass, Fitbit Flex, Pebble Steel, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch R, just to name a few. More are to come including Sony Glasses, which was announced late last year, and the highly anticipated iWatch from Apple. According to Samsung, within the UK last Christmas alone, over 1 million wearable devices were sold with a forecasted spend of £104.7 million. That is up 182% from Christmas 2013.

As I predicted last year, we have seen the first advertiser using wearable technology to engage consumers. Kenneth Cole incorporated a Google Glass application into its marketing approach. The app promotes their new cologne and encourages men to be more ‘gentlemanly’. Users are prompted to take photos of themselves completing good deeds every day for 21 days.
In 2015 wearable technology will become more mainstream and with that advertising opportunities will emerge leveraging new and unique data signals. Fitads is one of the first ad networks that is dedicated to the wearable health space. The platform is a mix of programmatic advertising and direct seller channels for health apps. It takes advantage of the milestone and achievement functions within most health apps. We can expect to see much more of this in 2015.
The year ahead is going to be packed with opportunity and creativity. Best of luck to you and let me know if I can help!

Join Net Media Planet and PerformanceIn on the 22nd of January at 14:00 (GMT) for a free webinar on the Future of Digital Advertising.