What Will B-to-B Advertising Look Like in 5 Years? You Won’t Recognize It!

by | Oct 13, 2009

questionmarkI’m hooked on the cable series Mad Men. I guess since I’m in the business and I started my ad career as the 3-martini lunches were winding down, I look at these guys and marvel at how simple their lives were. What did they have to offer the clients? TV, Radio, Outdoor, Papers and Magazines were pretty much what they had in their bag of tricks. Today, we have the Internet, Web 2.0, mobile media, digital ads and a host of other options that keep changing daily.

One of the newer ones out there is social media, and while the consumers have latched onto this in a big way, the B-to-B community has been slow in recognizing the power and potential of this marketing tool. Times are changing and the traditional marketers should come to grips sooner than later on the changing world we live in. The enclosed study by IBM should open your eyes as to what is coming and the key word is CHANGE. You think social media is a challenge, just wait. You’ll need to re-think the way you communicate with your customers, no matter who they are.

The next 5 years will hold more change for the advertising industry than the previous 50 did.

The information for this post is from an IBM global survey of more than 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising experts… the report is titled, “The end of advertising as we know it.”

Imagine an advertising world where...spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats surpasses traditional, one-to-many advertising vehicles, and a significant share of ad space is sold through auctions and exchanges. Advertisers know who viewed and acted on an ad, and pay based on real impact rather than estimated “impressions.” Consumers self-select which ads they watch and share preferred ads with peers. User-generated advertising is as prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots.

Based on IBM global surveys, there are four change drivers shifting control within the ad industry:

  1. Attention – Consumers are increasingly in control of how they view, interact with and filter advertising in a multichannel world.
  2. Creativity – Thanks to technology, the rising popularity of user-generated and peer-delivered content, and new ad revenue-sharing models (e.g., YouTube, Crackle, Current TV), amateurs and semi- professionals are now creating lower-cost advertising content.
  3. Measurement – Advertisers are demanding more individual-specific and involvement- based measurements, putting pressure on the traditional mass-market model.
  4. Advertising inventories – Will be bought and sold through efficient exchanges, bypassing traditional intermediaries.

There is no question that the future of advertising will look radically different from its past. The push for control of attention, creativity, measurements and inventory will reshape the advertising value chain and shift the balance of power.


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