This is part of the 2012 Digital Marketing Trends Series. We have collected opinions from some of the leading experts and practitioners on the hot Online Advertising trends to look out for in 2012, which we hope will provide you with food for thought for your Online Advertising activities next year.


Online Advertising Trends 2012

Richard SharpRichard Sharp, MD and Head of UK trading at ValueClick Media
quoteTechnology moves so quickly that it’s difficult to say what 2012 will hold for us – but there’s certainly one word that’s going to sum it up for me and that’s integration. Innovations within the online advertising industry have been rife for several years; retargeting, lead generation, mobile and video to name but a few. But this is getting incredibly confusing for marketers and there are hundreds of specialist companies offering each individual piece of the pie – but 2012 will be about integrating these together to work more efficiently and more productively.

The trend for separate business strands for each element of your marketing strategy is set to fade, companies need to offer the entire online display mix – and learn what works and what doesn’t for each advertiser; but this needs to be productive and campaigns need to be designed.

The element that will set apart the wheat from the chaff is relationships – direct communication with publishers who provide exclusive content; mobile publishers, lead generation publishers, display publishers etc.Gone are the days when you can tick a box to say ‘yes, we do mobile advertising’, it will be more about designing a bespoke marketing strategy which includes the elements that work best for your brand and discussing with individual publishers to build successful campaigns. Bespoke, integration, communication and efficiency will be the words every marketer talks about next year. closed quote


Martin Brown, UK Commercial Director, DataXuMartin Brown
With the constant evolution of DSPs within the online advertising sector and the fragmentation of the digital media space, the consistency of machine learning technology is key to enabling marketers to improve customer acquisition and also simplify the processes involved.  The rapid development of digital media, and the accompanying proliferation of hard-to-implement point solutions, has made it difficult to formulate and act on enterprise-wide decisions driven by the effective use of real-time customer intelligence.

The need to manage vast amounts of data efficiently will see the move towards more integrated campaigns and the need for digital marketing management platforms, such as the DX3 digital marketing management platform pioneered by DataXu. The trend will be to automate and optimise marketing campaigns. As the Forrester report, The Future of Digital Media Buying of September 2011 points out, ‘DMP/analytics platforms and centralised media buying platforms will increasingly merge into a unified stack.’

The market is now entering the accelerated growth phase of the technology adoption curve and it will become easier for all digital marketers to use Big Data to solve their customer intelligence problems.


Ian KerriganIan Kerrigan, Executive Creative Director, gyro
quoteTechnology innovations over the past few years have created online user experiences that are more personalised than ever, and so online advertising must keep up if it is to stay relevant. Gone are the days of pop-ups and blanket adverts as new web technologies create truly interactive and fluid web pages to drive engagement. Ads that visually integrate themselves with the web page they are on have far higher click-through rates than, for example, a banner advert. Online interactive radio station is a champion of such advertising, allowing a huge array of brands to integrate themselves with its homepage layout.

But this is just one step on the way to further engagement. Google has shown how web-pages can be turned on their head and manipulated with their recent ‘barrel roll’ easter egg, and so I wouldn’t be surprised if online advertising follows this path. Brands could take over web pages and allow users to engage with it on a level previously unseen, and in such a vast array of ways that it is pointless to even guess. This engagement is what so many adverts fall down on, and so I believe enhanced interactivity is the future of online advertising.closed quote


Martin Forbes, Senior Vice President & MD Europe of Vibrant
Martin Forbes
As brands commit to digital spend from traditional advertising, Marketers need a greater understanding of attribution vs “last click” (a misleading measure of advertising effectiveness), towards brand engagement. Research shows that even with minimal clicks; digital advertising can lift brand awareness increasing purchase intent on and offline. The interaction of online Video and TV advertising will be important to the branding story.

Advertising with social elements has reaped rewards for brands: engaging content and social feeds allow users to interact with other users and share with their friends. Smart brands will facilitate this increasingly in 2012. Media Owners will need to explore and discover how they can play a key part in the social media space, to complement and successfully enhance advertisers’ social media strategy.

An under-exploited area is Image advertising – a powerful contextual way to deliver brand messaging for advertisers whilst helping publishers increase page yields, watch this space!Other trends include dynamic location-specific mobile advertising, which will start to become more interesting.

Real-time bidding and programmatic auction based buys will capture the real value of a marketing impression, as the industry focus moves away from buying traditional ad space buying audiences will continue to lead the way. 


Derek Morgan, Head of Digital,_ TCADerek Morgans, Head of Digital, The Communications Agency
quoteOnline advertising, TV advertising – it’s hard to define these channels using terms like this anymore. I’ve always been a firm believer that the content we choose to consume is what’s important, not the platform we consume it through.After years of ‘channels’ competing to deliver TVC impressions it looks as if 2012 will finally be the year that video advertising, delivered either via the telephony system, broadcast transmissions, satellite or fibre optics will co-exist and compliment each other. Stats released by the annual “Video State of the Industry Survey” in America highlight that advertisers will spend 47% more YOY on Internet-delivered video content; in many cases the very same content they have been buying against on TV for years.

It also comes as no surprise that budgets to fund this shift are coming from print and online display, rather than from TV budgets, contrary to what many industry figures forecasted might happen. Video advertising has a strong and healthy future – the brands and media agencies that evolve their buying models the fastest will be in the strongest position to take advantage of this.  Next year will be the year we  embrace content and accept that technology simply provides a way to generate a viewing audience. It’s only taken seven years! closed quote


Download our full free Digital Marketing Trends 2012 Report.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!