Systemic Changes to the Web

by Jay Deragon on 11/14/2007


Systemic ChangeThe web has steadily become a utility of the masses. We’ve all became familiar with using the web for communicating, surfing, shopping, receiving information in different forms and a host of other usage attributes both personally and professionally.

The web economy has largely been fed by advertisers vying for eyeballs and attention. Advertisers have been a fundamental resource of the web economy. When a change occurs that alters the old models and creates improved models with a promise of higher returns then said changes are likely to create systemic shifts across the entire web.

Systemic changes ripple through the entire web and influence the system from end to end. Any new innovation usually spawns further innovations throughout the supply chain of interconnected elements that fuel the usage patterns of the web as we know it today. We are at a point of web history in which systemic changes are being fueled by the innovations facilitated by the social web. The social web brings more influential human elements with global reach than any previous technological development in the history of the web. Combine the influence of the human elements with the economic power of advertisers and you have a scenario that will fuel further changes unforeseen, unpredictable and unimaginable.

This morning Equity Kicker Newsletter provides a commentary on the systemic changes brought on my the new ad models being introduced to the social web. The newsletter says:

The next five years will hold more change for the advertising industry than the previous 50 did. Increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant advertisers and ever-evolving technologies are re-defining how advertising is sold, created, consumed and tracked.”

From The end of advertising as we know it, IBM 2007.

Spot on. There are huge budgets at stake in a rapidly evolving market place and that means good opportunities for startups.

For IBM there are four drivers:

  • Attention is increasingly controlled by consumers as media consumption moves away from the TV and due to ad skipping/blocking technologies
  • The rise of UGC is enabling engagement marketing
  • New channels and technologies are enabling measurement of advertising effectiveness for the first time
  • The rise of exchanges is changing the way advertising is bought and sold

….. which will demand two key changes (and this is IBM plus a bit of me)

  • Demand from advertisers for transparency on how their budgets are spent and what the results are. Over time this could go as far as cross channel comparability and allocation of budget to different channels and formats based on performance. This might even get automated.
  • Greater creativity in advertising – traditional and online. This will take many forms, a lot of which I suspect haven’t even been thought of yet – but are necessary to overcome online ad-blindness and ad-skipping technologies in video. Part of the answer could well be innovative models that make explicit the exchange of advertising attention for content, and potentially even for cash. (Check this out for a fun example.)

If you read the IBM presentation (which I warn you is a bit of a slog…) then you will see they have a lot of survey data to back these ideas up.
Credit goes to Tomoaki Sowada for the pointer to the IBM presentation.

In previous post we’ve discussed the influence of change fueled by new advertising models yet to come. These include some of the following:

Dueling Media Factors

Behavioral Targeting Factors

Your Advertising Factors

Are these events creating systemic shifts to the web as we know it?

What say you?

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