Online Advertising: Where’s the $ (hint: at nextMEDIA Banff)

Leading online media buyer joined heads at the “Online Advertising: Where’s the $” panel at nextMedia Banff  on Sunday to show how ad money has shifted online and what trends they see happening in the online ad space.

Maura Hanley of MediaCom Canada showed stats which indicate that television is still king in terms of advertising, as (surprsingly) is radio. But internet is coming on strong, while newspapers are lagging behind. There are many methodologies and reasons to choose online media to advertise a product, but it seemed obvious to the panel that online is where massive growth is occurring while broadcast flatlines. In fact, Graham Moysey, the senior VP of digital media for Canwest said the company is aggressively moving into online advertising in order to get ahead of the shift to digital.

Simon Jennings of Olive Media said that there’s no longer a debate over whether you should be using online in your advertising mix; you should. But the mix is interesting, he said, as it was originally the portal sites like AOL or Yahoo, but what he’s seeing is a big shift away from the portals towards talking to publishers, as well as using search and other online components to compliment your strategy.

Jennings did note that there’s still a perception of television as the first thing that springs to mind when a brand decides to advertiser, but online should be more heavily considered. The panel also noticed that some of Canada’s top brands have no online presence whatsoever.

It was also noted that advertisers don’t necessarily understand why they should go online, and media buyers will have to help explain to them why it’s valuable. The onlne landscape also changes very rapidly (witness the rise of social media, twitter, mobile) and advertisers don’t necessarily move that fast.

The panel also addressed the issues of niche content producers, and how they can get into the advertising market and monetize their product. The barriers can be quite low; content producers can even sign up with Google Adsense, and really shouldn’t worry as much about advertising, and instead should make sure their sites are optimized for search and focus on making really good content. There are agencies like Casale who can pair up content producers and advertisers.