Top ad trends list spotlights online behavior

New data from research firm Nielsen shows that brands need to manage consumer experience across all the screens--TV, PC, and mobile.

Research firm Nielsen has released its top advertising trends for 2010. Not surprisingly the leading trend is the ability to measure activity that merges online and offline purchasing behavior, addressing the fact that users have expanded options for how they consume content and how they interact with brands.

Nielsen data shows that "time spent on each of the three screens--TV, PC and mobile--is increasing. In particular, the consumption of video content is on the rise across all platforms."

Top advertising trends for 2010

  1. Optimizing media convergence is a top priority
  2. New models emerge to take advantage of smartphones
  3. More cross-media ad campaigns surface
  4. Commercialization of social networking hubs increase
  5. More interesting and interactive online ads appear

The challenge with advertising mediums such as video (TV more so than online) is that they require users to not only be interested in the product but remember it when they are making a purchasing decision. This, of course, is why online advertising has proven to be such a lucrative model. Consumers, in theory, can be served an ad and then perform some kind of action, such as buying a product online.

Nielsen asserts that for consumer packaged goods, "purchasing decisions in 2010 will be affected by factors such as brand innovation, retailer assortment, proliferation of store brands, and healthy eating preferences." With the exception of healthy eating (maybe eco-friendly tech is the comparison?), the technology industry won't be dramatically different.

Large brands like Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft must continue to innovate (brand innovation), more start-ups will join the fray (retailer assortment), companies like Dell will offer more services to support their hardware business (proliferation of store brands) and maybe electric cars become the healthy eating of the tech world.

What remains to be seen is which advertising trends are the most efficient and cost-effective. Social networking has been largely aggregated onto a few major sites such as Facebook and MySpace, while other niche sites garner far less traffic (though potentially more per-user dollars.)

The biggest opportunity is to make people actually like seeing advertising. Despite all of the hype and success around ads, I've yet to meet someone who claims to just love Internet ads. We all accept ads as a part of our lives online, so there is certainly an opportunity for more interesting online ad formats.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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