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Which Way is Up?

The state of the advertising industry has received mixed reviews by the media. The New York Times reported from the annual conferences of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that speakers and audiences were worried about the ‘sluggish’ pace of the industry’s growth. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs reports that online advertising will grow by 14% this year and 10% next year.

The prospects for digital advertising are certainly still bright. Yahoo introduced two new formats for advertisements within its popular Messenger and email applications, showing confidence in the promise of social interaction platforms. On a similar note, PricewaterhouseCoopers released findings of soaring advertising rates on social networks, claiming that the slower economy encourages a shift from traditional to digital media. The cost efficiency and high level of visibility of the digital social space are key indicators for advertisers.

Following this industry conversion, social networking today also fuels trends in traditional media. No longer is it just the early adopters engaging with digital advertising, but people from all market segments and demographics. Even traditional outlets such as television viewership are now heavily affected by the general audience’s level of exposure to interactive ads, viral video, and social media during their time online. With literally billions of clicks through these channels every hour, there is more than plenty of incentive to push advertising towards this space.

So what is the next step for advertisers? One speaker at the ANA conference suggested that uncertain times increase willingness for risk-taking. For advertisers, regardless of the medium, the challenge is to innovate more than ever before.

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