You don’t have to be a high-flying business development manager to know that when people access free content on the Web, it’s because online advertising paid for it.
It might not yet be as big as its older TV, radio and print cousins, but internet advertising is definitely on the way up. Otherwise ad-tracking companies like Marin Software would have little to look forward to in an IPO; instead, its shares soared from $14 at the start of trading last Friday to $20, settling down at $16.26. All told, it pulled down a walloping $105 million.
How to make a business development manager smile
The market gave a vote of confidence to online advertising in this IPO result – the kind of verdict guaranteed to put a spring in the step of the jobbing business development manager. Advertisers want to track their returns and Marin’s own research suggests that they remain buoyant: last year, the total online advertising spend was $98 billion. By 2017, the company forecasts that it will rise $174 billion.
According to the firm’s CEO Chris Lien, this won’t simply mean more ads, it’ll mean better ads. He said:
“Consumers will see a lot of positives over the next couple of years in terms of relevance of ads. Ads that are viewed as intrusive will become welcome because they’re so relevant.”
The day of the one-to-one ad nears
Big developments are already underway, Liens says. Most of us won’t yet have seen them, but a new generation of ads is about to arrive; the biggest advertising platforms are gearing up to deliver genuine one-to-one advertising, where the only ads a consumer will see are the ones he or she is truly interested in.
Firms like Marin aren’t the only beneficiaries of the steady forward march of online advertising: if you can stand the incandescent glare, just take a look at the shine coming off Google’s shares, which have stood at over $800 for almost a month. Yes, it’s been in the news lately for RSS apps, self-driving cars and Google Glass, but no business development manager should forget that it’s first and foremost an advertising company, selling $42 billion worth of ads in 2012 alone.
The writing’s on the wall: internet advertising is poised to measure up to its older relatives very soon.