Technology is one aspect that immediately gets associated with Internet. However, the question remains how effectively has it been applied to online advertising? Has the medium moved beyond the initial excitement and the following irritation? What are the main technological challenges that advertisers face? These and a number of other questions were raised at the recently held exchange4media iZone Roundtable in Bangalore.
Stating that the biggest technical hitch that India faced in advertising online was the lack of standardisation, Rajesh Vimal, Director, M One, said that most of what we did in the country was a reinvention of what was available abroad. Due to this, technological specifications differ from site to site, making it impossible to speak of uniformity, he observed.
Vimal continued, saying that skill was not an area of problems with some of the implementations done in the country being truly world class. In his words, “There is no scarcity for talent in India, the problem lies only in the lack of standardisation.”
Taking the discussion further, N Murlidharan, MD, Jobstreet.com, spoke of the various methods and mediums presently used in online advertising. His list included the likes of graphic banners and text banners among others. Using the example of pop-ups, he spoke of how the tool was first met with excitement that quickly changed into irritation. “A lot of thought is being put to check out how the irritation factor could be reduced and now we have the pop-unders which are relatively less intrusive,” Murlidharan said. He added that a number of new technologies are being developed at any given point in time keeping in mind the rapid rate at which today’s user is evolving.
“Everybody agrees that we haven’t even scratched the surface. So, why not make the best of what we have before we go in search of something new and better?” reasoned John Kuruvilla, Chief Revenue Officer and Head, Commercial, Air Deccan. Putting up the example of banners, he said that while the medium held great potential, there was still a long way to go before achieving that standard.
Speaking further, he said that the time had come to stop paying attention only to new technology and think more about qualitatively applying existing technology for the maximum returns. “Finally, the medium can only do so much. It is the message that has to pull,” stressed Kuruvilla.
Making the link between technology and creative, Abraham Mathew, President CIOL, spoke of the limited scope creativity had played in online advertising. “Creativity has suffered on the Internet more than it has on any other medium,” he said, raising the question, whether the delivery of online ads would increase the creative aspect.
The panel was unanimous in its response. Quoting examples of how an investment into the creative had a direct effect on returns, the panel established that though technology was a sure driver for online advertising. In the end, it was a marriage of the tech aspects and the creative that would yield returns.
Watch this space to know more about emerging trends in online advertising.