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Friday Five: New Technology Pressures Ad Industry to Get Personal

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The advertising industry is facing pressure to keep up with the increasing presence of mobile, technology’s new ability to censor consumer ads based on their likes and dislikes, and the lack of targeted, more personalized ads that resonate stronger with brand advocates. All of these factors combined with companies having significantly smaller ad budgets are forcing the ad industry to make a change, and make it fast.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we explore how traditional advertising channels are being put to the test as they compete with mobile and online advertising. We also take a closer look at disruptions to mobile and online advertising. Finally, we get a peak at how some brands find new advertising opportunities in television advertising while others miss the mark despite their brilliant products. 

Why Brands Need To Rethink Their Online Advertising Strategy (Forbes)

“Ask Your Target Market” recently surveyed consumers on their likes and dislikes in regard to online advertising and found that the majority of brand ambassadors are not the least bit interested in the broad scope of online advertising. For example, when asked how likely they were to click on an online ad, 65% answered not very likely or not likely at all. When you look at the statistics according to gender, the numbers skew even higher for women, who are the most powerful brand ambassadors out there, according to Forbes’ Steve Olenski. The obvious question: What will brand managers do with this information? Olenski suggests that brand managers can test online advertising to get a clearer picture of how successful their ads actually are. Second, he suggests making online advertising more personal. It’s been said again and again—it is vital to get to know your audience. The better you know the consumer you are reaching out to, the more tailored (and therefore effective) your ads can be.

Will mobile kill digital advertising? (CNN Tech)

This past weekend WPP, a world leader in advertising and marketing services, held its annual conference “Stream.” One of the major themes of this conference was the growing importance of mobile. Amidst this mobile frenzy senior executives are still unable to answer whether mobile advertising will be a major money maker for corporations that make invest in the heightened concept. CNN contributor Andrew Keen asked a slightly scarier question: “Is it possible that the digital marketing industry could be destroyed by mobile?” Some experts say mobile will cause a disruption but will not kill the advertising industry. Other professionals in the industry confess that the disruption will pose challenges that they are not yet ready to manage. For a full scope of this argument read more of Keen’s post from this week.

Preston Gralla: Is Microsoft out to kill online advertising? Let’s get real (ComputerWorld)

The arrival of Windows 8 is approaching fast and the advertising industry may not to be ready to welcome it with open arms. Windows 8 comes preloaded with Internet Explorer 10, a program which will automatically turn on a feature called “Do Not Track.” Advertisers are worried about this feature because it sends signals to Web sites saying that the user doesn’t want his or her activities tracked. How do you think Internet users end up with so many pop-up ads during a single browser session? The answer is tracking. Microsoft says the DNT feature will not hurt the advertising industry at all. They believe it will help. The idea behind DNT is not to shut advertisers out, but to allow people to have more control over what targeted ads they will see. The online ad industry is concerned mostly because DNT will be a default setting for anyone who purchases the new Windows 8, meaning that if users don’t turn it off, it can still block a large number of pop-up ads. The head of Microsoft’s advertising business group sees this as an opportunity for consumers to enrich their Web experience and for advertisers to spend more time getting to know their target group instead of inundating every user with ads that they are not interested in.

The Advertising (In)Effect: Rankings For Top Tablet Ads Exclude Bestseller iPad. Changing Tides Ahead? (TechCrunch)

Ad analytics company Ace Metrix released a list of top ads in the U.S. for tablets. The surprising list puts Samsung in the lead among vendors, while Apple, who has the best-selling tablet on the market right now, doesn’t even make the top 10. The “Ace Score” for each of these brands was determined based on viewer reaction to national television ads in which consumers were asked to rate the ads. TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden offers a grid that shows how the remaining brands’ advertising ranks stack up. While the Online Publisher’s Association gave Apple a higher market share and Strategy Analytics gave Apple and even bigger margin, when it came to television advertising Apple missed the mark. Lunden points out, however, that this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a direct correlation between the ranking and the success of the product.

Another E-Commerce Site Tests Advertising on TV (Media Decoder/The New York Times)

With all this talk about whether television advertising is rising or falling, here is a great example of a new company that, up until now, has relied heavily on social advertising via Facebook, but has dared to test the success of television advertising. Fab, the social shopping Web site with a focus on “everyday design” has done the majority of advertising via Facebook, running Facebook ads, sponsored stories and most recently buying ads on the Facebook log-out page. The TV test will run for three weeks on broadcast and cable outlets in six markets: Austin, Tex.; Baltimore; Denver; Nashville; San Diego; and West Palm Beach, Fla. Fab is the second e-commerce firm behind Warby Parker, which sells discounted prescription eyeglasses, to initiate TV ad testing.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.


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