Sunday, March 1, 2009

Behavioral Targeting To Surpass Search Advertising By 2020

by Mark Walsh: Jeff Hirsch, president and CEO of Audience Science, kicked off the OMMA Behavioral conference in New York Tuesday with a video time capsule featuring 1970s footage of TV announcers promising that people would someday read their morning newspapers on home computers, among other wild claims. With that amusing history lesson in mind, Hirsch went on to make a few bold predictions of his own: that by 2020 behavioral targeting will surpass search in online ad spending, and that online ad dollars overall will eclipse those of TV

Mmm, you joking me?

I highly doubt this. For a few reasons:

1. The internet is a bottomless pit. Ever growing. Never ending. Websites are constantly created, what's the rate? Wired says nine blogs are created every minute. So anything else only goes up from there. And the fastest way to find what you want in the navigable mess? Google! People are getting more efficient, more savvy in their ability to find what they want, when they want it. And they aren't afraid to use more than 3 search terms. Because chances are that someone out there has used that exact same phrase. Spelling mistakes included!

2. Considering that there is ongoing talk that the internet is inevitably going to change to a more secure platform, I believe the dynamic that we now know, will alter. Not hugely, but enough to create a new paradigm. Therefore predictions on the current network are moot.

3. Using a lovely Jetsons example from the 70s is quaint. That bet paid off, but I'm pretty sure this one won't. Behavioural marketing it great, oh so great, but to outspend search?! Don't forget search is also evolving to "search come to me" technologies like Skygrid and alltop. Places that trawl the net for your interested topics and bring the latest to you. Unless behavioural is incorporated into that, I'd say that this Mr Hirsch is dreaming.

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