IAB pinpoints digital's shortcomings

For internet advertising to truly flourish, it needs the financial support of the world's biggest brands. But the problem right now is that most online media companies simply don't meet brand marketers' needs, according to a study released by Bain & Company and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Online ad formats and creative simply aren't up to snuff, as far as brand marketers are concerned. Other problems prohibiting an influx of cash into digital include an increased desire for integrated campaigns (as opposed to platform-specific ones), and a lack of clear metrics. Brand marketers are looking for metrics that resemble those used in traditional formats like TV, according to Ad Age.

In what could be seen as a sobering wake-up call for the digital industry, Bain and the IAB found that marketers see value in online advertising, but feel that current industry practices inhibit greater investment.

With that in mind, the companies created a six-step plan for online media companies to better meet the needs of brand marketers. Here are the steps, directly from the report:

  • Create segmented offerings to meet the separate needs of advertisers that are focused on building brands and those that are looking for direct response.
  • Make brand-focused marketers a priority by building a sales force of category experts who respond directly to those marketers' specific needs.
  • Develop a full range of solutions with more engaging options and formats, including social networks, video, and other rich media.
  • Offer deeper service and support customized to vertical industries, to help advertisers plan, create, and measure the brand impact of online ads.
  • Optimize the ways that ad inventories are sold, with a range of approaches from full-service to self-service to partnership with ad networks and resellers.
  • Enhance organizational effectiveness by setting the right priorities, clarifying internal roles and accountability, and investing in sales staff skills and incentives.