Another tremendously insightful article yesterday from Michael Zimbalist of NYT. This guy is sharp. His analysis of the situation is dead on and I completely agree with the rough bucketing of potential outcomes and associated implications for the various ecosystem players.
However, I want to make it clear that the key to Zimbalist’s positive outcome scenario (scenario 3) is the emergence of capabilities that aren’t widely available today. As Dan Ballister wrote in his comment to the article, “If buyers are going after audience in real-time auctions, will they make peace with having to forfeit control over ad environment and delivery predictability? What good is it to reach your audience when they don’t want to be found, or to only run 15% of your back-to-school campaign on time because you kept getting outbid?”
In order for Brand marketers to fully leverage the emerging exchange ecosystem they will need sophisticated technology for page-level quality filtering, pricing & delivery prediction, R/F & composition management, delivery smoothing, offline impact measurement, etc. In case it’s not obvious, that’s a very different toolset than the fine targeting and CPA-driven optimization engines of which the market has produced scores of copies thus far – on both the demand side and the supply side.
Stay tuned for some more in depth thoughts on this topic shortly.