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Online advertising apocalypse? Probably not.

Online advertising will be stung but not killed by the economic downturn. Or so we all hope.

It's clear that the sorry state of the economy will have some negative business effects. Enterprise purchasing decisions seem to be slowing down, but on a positive note consumption of the internet and video games seem to be on the rise--which means advertising should be able to weather the storm.

IAB announced today that internet advertising is up 15.2% to $11.5 billion for the first half of 2008 versus the same period in 2007.

Of course that was before the economic meltdown.

Jeremy Liew wrote that we are in an advertising recession and that advertisers will stick to what they know, which means trusted ad networks and direct response marketering. I would also suggest that "actionable" advertising such as rewards and coupons will become more appealing as marketers can better refine the targets and the actions they take.

On the other hand, Matthew Ingraham found that "many marketers believe that online advertising has actually been benefiting from the economic uncertainty, as advertisers look at the Web as more measurable and effective." And Svetlana Gladkova at Profy found that advertising was actually pretty healthy during the Great Depression.

I can not be 100% sure but I think it is very much possible that forward-thinking companies will probably avoid cutting their advertising budgets. Instead, they will need to decide where advertising performs the best. I have a feeling that internet has pretty strong chances of becoming that platform advertisers will turn to as an alternative to their current old media platforms looking for easier measurable conversion rates.

Of course certain rearrangement of how online advertising market is functioning now is absolutely possible with advertisers turning to various CPC and CPA solutions where they know for sure what they pay for instead of paying for some abstract brand exposure. But that does not mean that online advertising will be severely damaged by the recession. Of course I may be too optimistic in this position but for now I would not be 100% sure predicting a doomsday of the internet economy.

IF the advertising train really does fly off the tracks I would expect online and Tv to be the winners. The other question to ask is if an advertising downturn is actually a bad thing for consumers and brands. The only way to tell if something is working is by measuring its success. I have a feeling people will figure out pretty quickly if their advertising is driving real revenue.