MEET THE EXPERT: Arshan Saha’s take on what the online advertising industry holds for 2011

MEET THE EXPERT: Arshan Saha’s take on what the online advertising industry holds for 2011

2010 has been a year of substantial growth for digital media and for Innity specifically and I, for one, truly believe that digital media in Southeast Asia has taken that much needed step towards becoming a prominent platform for advertising.  In fact, many well known advertisers have finally taken a leap of faith into online advertising thanks to the influential power of their global headquarters and not only have they placed their trust in the online medium but many have even dived right into pretty advanced methods of utilizing the digital channel.

This is particularly interesting given the fact that online advertising in Singapore, based on the latest IAB report, stands at a mere 6% in comparison to the US and the UK that are inching toward the 30% mark.

Keeping this in mind, I have detailed out 5 trends I foresee growing exponentially in the year ahead…

The Video Revolution

2011 will be the year of video advertising and this is in line with the huge rise of video consumption that we are currently seeing across SEA. Video advertising will be huge in the coming years with video banners, pre-roll and post-roll being the core. The first step in the evolution of video advertising will see a lot of publishers invest in content as quality here is what will determine the success of video advertising.

Re-Targeting for Acquisitions

In 2010, I have personally witnessed almost 60% of all online spends to be acquisition related in Singapore and I am certain this trend will continue to grow across the region boosted especially by the travel, financial and telecommunications sector. 2011 will see a greater influx of acquisition related campaigns and this creates a need in the market for better technology such as re-targeting which has proven to be very fruitful for advertisers globally.

Beyond the Banner

South East Asians, despite being late adopters of the online channel, also have a keen need to come up with innovative methods of reaching out to their target audience outside of just sticking to regular banner ads. Advertisers are ready to dive into spending more on the online market and no longer want to do what everyone else is doing thus creating opportunity for new and innovative ad formats such as takeovers, floating ads, engagement ads, skins, etc.

Beyond the Click?

I remember being in a focus group recently wherein the argument revolved around whether online jargon related to pricing models, various tracking methods and day to day launches of new technologies have been the core reason why the internet as a medium hasn’t grown. Honestly, this discussion will never end however, 2011 will continue from where we left off in 2010 with more tracking being utilized and advertisers finally taking a keen interest in advertising online and for this, we can thank all the failed financial institutions.

One simple example will help substantiate my line of reasoning – in a recent acquisition campaign that the team was working on, we used data gathered from our tracking pixel to see when exactly most acquisitions occur and found 3 time slots where 90% of all acquisitions came in. This is what data gives you – the ability to target whoever you want, whenever you want and wherever you want!

The Rise and Demise of Social Media

We have all witnessed the rise of social media in 2010 with Facebook and Twitter; possibly two brands that are spoken about, read and visited at least 50 times a day. Will 2011 see advertisers spend a lot of money on social media? I think so – but with consequences.

We all know the benefits of social media and how social media has started dictating our lives today so I will just lay out the consequences. Think about the number of customers that come to your Facebook fan page and say they love your brand in comparison to the many that post their terrible experiences and negative comments – this is something you must have a strategy for.

All in all, 2011 will be a big year for digital media and I truly hope that all of us in the industry will strive hard to continue driving and educating the market and ourselves with an aim of getting to 30% in no time.

(Arshan Saha is the Country Manager of Innity, Singapore)

Innity is the leading digital media network in APAC that provides interactive online marketing platforms and technologies for advertisers and publishers. We believe in leveraging on the power of digital marketing services and creative technologies to drive measurable results for our clients and convert their audiences into consumers.