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"The Big 3" of Digital: Social, Video and Mobile

"The Big 3" of Digital: Social, Video and Mobile

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Jordan Bitterman, SVP/Social Marketing Practice Lead, Digitas, explains how with all things digital, each of these three areas overlap.
Jordan Bitterman, SVP/Social Marketing Practice Lead, Digitas, explains how with all things digital, each of these three areas overlap.

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Published by: DigitasLBiPerspectives on Jun 21, 2012
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09/10/2012

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DIGITAS PERSPECTIVE
June 2012
“The Big 3
of Digital: Social, Video &Mobile
 
TANGIBLE LANDSCAPE COMING INTO FOCUS
As we head into the next phase of digital growth – one that might as well be called the post-Facebook-IPO, NewFront-is-the-new-upfront, smartphones-at-critical-mass world of digital marketing - a tangiblelandscape is finally coming into focus. Forget “So-Lo-Mo.” With a small but important tweak to thatmoniker, we now finally have our three emerging categories quickly becoming the new establishment ofdigital marketing: SOCIAL, VIDEO and MOBILE.As with all things digital, each of these three areas overlap to both confuse the picture yet create morepotent tools for marketers. Let’s start by looking at the world that lives at the intersection of each: Datacould be called out as a fourth major focus area and that wouldn’t be wrong.But, for the purposes of this discussion, we should assume that data is an ever-present, always-on layerthat affects the entire landscape. It is a layer that sits beneath Social, Video and Mobile to ensure theirsuccess. Data raises all boats. THE NEXT THREE YEARS WILL FLIP DIGITAL MARKETING ON ITSEAR. Of The Big 3, Social is off to the strongest start.According to eMarketer, $3.6B was spent on social network ad spend in 2011. That’s the largestexpenditure of the three categories. Video is second and Mobile is third. But in the three year spendingprojections made by eMarketer, the categories flip.
 
 
DIGITAS PERSPECTIVE
June 2012
Through 2014, significant growth is predicted in all three categories, but pay specific attention to Mobileas its ad spend is predicted to increase 150% for that three year period.Each of these categories will have a significant effect on the others.How would Video grow without Social?How would Mobile grow without Video?How would Social grow without Mobile?The answer to all of these questions is: they won’t. They will each have material impact on the others.Still, to understand why each category is where it is today and to predict where it will go from here, weneed to look at the factors unique to each
 
SEVEN FACTORS DRIVING GROWTH
There are seven factors that drive growth in each category:
Content.
Is content being created for the category? Is it premium? Do users want toconsume it? Is it valuable to them? Is there an abundance of it?
Back-End Technology.
Does the category physically work for both users and marketers?Is there quick load time? Are there industry standard solutions to traffic ads and make thingsrun?
 
 
DIGITAS PERSPECTIVE
June 2012
Data/Targeting.
Are there norms in place that enable brands to reachtheir audience efficiently and effectively the way they have become accustomed to in otherchannels?
Standardization.
Is there a currency in which brands can buy media? Are there ad unitscommon from publisher to publisher?
Measurement
. How do we measure success? Are those measures accepted by themarketplace? Are those measures driving business outcomes?
Scale.
How many people are active users in the space? Are they truly engaged?
Dollars.
While all of these factors are indicators of whether dollars will be spent in thecategory, ad spend begets more ad spend. Are dollars flowing into this category?Each factor helps to make the market and until most of those factors reach critical mass, it is difficult for abig business-model to truly breakout along the lines of traditional display, paid search or television.In order to determine where each category will go from here, it is instructive to look at how The Big 3 aredoing against these 7 factors. To illustrate, I have ranked each factor on a scale of 1-10. When factorsare at 3, we still have a way to go. When they reach 5, we’re witnessing a tipping point — essentially thestart of critical mass. When they elevate to 7 or beyond, we are looking at a category in maturity.The goal for each category is to reach 5 across factors in order to make it easier for brands to rationalizethe category for their marketing spend and for publishers/providers to monetize it.5 is a tipping point.Digital display advertising hit that milestone in the late 90s and Search hit it in the early 00s. Each is nowa very big business. How will Social, Video and Mobile reach their tipping points?(**My numbers are subjective, of course. But I would hope that they would generate agreement at leastdirectionally. I welcome thoughts and comments to this post.**)
SOCIAL: LEADING THE PACK
Category score: 5.6
What’s working: 
Since social networks are essentially made up of user-generated content andthird-party professional content being shared friend-to-friend, the Social category has been drivenby a close relationship between
content
and
scale
.

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