Internet advertising spending has been dropping out for a while, pretty much in line with the economic downturn. As users on the Web become more experienced with browsing, they grow cognitively blind to advertising locations on Web pages. Despite all this, the Internet ad business has remained handicapped when it comes to innovation.
One advertising widget company, mediaFORGE, is on their way to innovating the way advertisers connect with consumers.
I am bugged by the amount of unrelated ads found in advertising today. A majority of ads I see are the non-interactive use of ad units. At a broader level, I am tired of advertisers using traditional advertising techniques on a new-age platform, the Internet.
I genuinely approve of any advertiser who attempts to engage with me, listen to me and actually provide informational and possibly monetary value for my few seconds that I have to tolerate it. Ads today are all about tolerance. How far can an advertiser go before they have an adverse affect on Internet users? For instance — University of Phoenix, Classmates and Free Credit Report have very fatigued ad units on their publishers’ sites and more than likely have an embarrassingly low click-through-rate (CTR).
mediaFORGE connects traditional advertisers to new-age consumers through interactive widgets for their advertisements. I think this is great because it’s not intrusive and I maintain control as to how I want to engage with an advertiser. Now, if those ads were contextual to the page I’m browsing, it would result in higher CTR and probably much higher conversions since I am implicitly attracted to the ad itself. If any advertiser or publisher disagrees, I beg you to prove it. If you have a valuable product or service being advertised which is relevant, people will engage with it.
On Friday, mediaFORGE forged a partnership with LinkShare, a large affiliate marketing network, much like ClickBank. This partnership is huge, because affiliates can take those widgets and place them on their publishers’ sites and help advertisers engage more effectively with consumers.
Engaging advertising widgets are incredibly important because ad spend is down for most advertisers, so it’s even more important for their dollar to stretch further. Impressions and CTR don’t matter, it’s the action that matters (and pays). Within these widgets, advertisers could attract consumers into their e-mail marketing so they can follow-up with their interest.
If you want to read the release on mediaFORGE and LinkShare integrating together, check out their blog entry on it.
Ultimately, advertisers need to carefully examine how they spend their advertising dollars. They need to stop blasting consumers with static animated ads, respect users’ interests by making ads more engaging. Further, publishers need to respect consumers by providing related contextual ads, NOT targeted ads. I believe that advertisers create interactive widgets, they may observe a higher ROI and perhaps increase ad spending for publishers.