Digital advertising life beyond Google AdWords

In the world of digital advertising the 800-pound gorilla is definitely Google AdWords. Toss in their Google Display Network (GDN) and Enhanced Campaigns and you can put a few more pounds on that primate. But, since digital advertising techniques and technologies change faster than a misplaced tweet can ruin a career, savvy digital marketers have to keep their eyes open for new trends. We picked up on three new digital marketing trends that you might want to track.

To be honest, I wasn’t the one who identified these trends – I simply ran across a blog post on Anvil Media’s website written by Nick Winkleblack titled “3 Digital Ad Trends You Need to Know Yesterday” (you can read the full blog post here.)

Nick’s first trend is interesting in the fact that it’s sort of obvious in a subtle way – “All Your Favorite Social Networks are Now Ad Servers (except maybe Tumblr).” Those who follow Facebook already know that they’ve spent a lot of time and energy in the past year trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to make it easier for digital advertisers to spend their money with the social media giant. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn have all made pushes into the digital advertising space and third party ad servers such as AdRoll are actively targeting social media sites.

The second trend that Nick talks about is that Retargeting (or Remarketing) is finally taking advantage of the ‘connectedness of everything’. In other words, they are taking the concept of cookies to a whole new level. Now that users are connecting to the web using multiple devices it’s possible to track them even when they are using a tablet, mobile device, or whatever – even if that device doesn’t support cookies. Twitter, Facebook, and yes Google are all beginning to aggregate and mine data on users and tie them back to other places they may have left useful information. A smartphone user who logs into their Facebook or Twitter account has basically tethered that device to a website and can therefore be served targeted marketing.

The final trend Nick mentions is the rise in programmatic display ads and real-time bidding. The concept is a bit like AdWords on steroids. You provide a few demographics that describe your ideal customer and every time someone comes online who fits that description the robots spark up and rush to place your ad. They can even enter into real-time bidding wars with other robots on your behalf. Seems like the robots just keep getting smarter and not surprisingly, they can react faster than we can.

There is a lot of good stuff in Nick’s post and it’s worth checking out some of the other blog posts on Anvil Media’s website.