Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Digital Advertising Technology Landscape

This schematic has become my cheat-sheet of choice for making sense of the digital advertising technology landscape...

Source: Terence Kawaja, LUMA Partners via Slideshare

From my perspective, the take-away here is that the digital marketing ecosystem continues to fragment by the day as innovative firms find new ways to create value. In turn, the challenge is that each bucket that pops up adds another layer between the advertiser and the consumer (and another potential point of confusion for marketers getting hip, or trying to stay hip, to digital).

It's interesting to see how many buckets Google is active in through owned/operated properties. At my count (based on the original schematic below, not the updated one posted above) the Big G has a play in 9 of them:

DSP - Invite Media
Ad Exchange - DoubleClick AdX
Ad Networks - Google Content Network
Creative Optimization - Teracent
Ad Servers - DoubleClick
Analytics - Google Analytics
Mobile - AdMob

Display Advertising Technology Landscape

And, of course, since this chart only shows the "display advertising technology landscape," it doesn't include Video (YouTube), Search (Google) and all the other Google products.

Methinks it's only a matter of time before advertisers will be able to just go through Google to get to their audience and check all the boxes and buckets along the way.

In 5-10 years, the digital advertising landscape could look very well like this...

Display Advertising Landscape - Google
And, I suppose it's possible publishers could even be dis-intermediated too!

Now, surely, this outcome might cause some concern for marketers over Google having access to all the data, potentially fixing pricing, etc. But I think the benefits of centralization, simplification, and efficiency will outweigh the cons for 98% of the 5 million-ish advertisers that currently work with Google today. For the other 2% (big Internet retailers, Fortune 500's, etc.), there will still be a need for either a) agencies to act as their advocates or b) internal teams that will put all these pieces and buckets together themselves.

And, while the 2% may control a good 20% of the total digital advertising spend, that's a healthy 80% ripe for Google's picking. My bet is Dennis Woodside, Penry Price, Jim Lecinski, and the other Google ad sales big wigs have this cheat-sheet affixed to their desks as well.

Update 7/27: Just came across a great post by Doug Weaver on his blog, The Drift, reacting to this graphic. He likens the state of today's overcrowded display advertising technology landscape to 2 hobos slicing a bean. Rather than introducing "one more data source that's going to refine targeting by a quarter of a point" or "another technology or platform to shave a nickel off the CPM," Weaver urges us to focus on finding/creating companies that will create "new online wealth."


Web Liquid Group said...

Haha, great followup infographic with the Google logo. Let's hope that's one sea change which takes its sweet time! Seems like an acquisition in the attribution modeling space would make sense as Google's next big acquisition, given the launch of retargeting within AdWords. And with this Zynga investment they're certainly zooming in on social...

We found this image so useful, we posted a text version of the Display Advertising Technology Landscape so that anyone interested can click through to each company mentioned...

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