It's hard to understand what we can't see
According to eMarketer, spending on display is set to outpace paid search by 2015 -- that's just three years from now. That's exciting, but it's also concerning. Right now, the display media industry is experiencing a tremendous consolidation, happening through both acquisition and organic evolution of established companies. But the reality is that the display media industry remains complex and fractured. That complexity may mean that display won't reach such predicted heights. As long as marketers must wade through a quagmire of point-solution startups, incomprehensible jargon, and one-size-fits-all strategies to execute their unique business goals, the hope for growth rates may not be a reality.
There is a frustration common throughout the space: No sufficient tools exist to help marketers truly understand the display ecosystem.
We all glommed on to the "LUMAscapes," Terry Kawaja's ever-expanding map of the established players, startups, and acquisitions in the digital media space. For VCs and M and A teams, there's no better tool for instantly understanding what all these companies do. However, Kawaja and The LUMA Partners' goal was clearly to guide strategic acquisitions and investment, not address digital marketing execution from a brand's perspective. Marketers can try to reference the LUMAscape to figure out what companies do and the functions they may provide, but more often than not, they end up more confused than before.
That led our team to build a vendor-neutral model which focuses on needs of marketers to understand the flow and relationships between the various technologies and companies in the display ecosystem. The result is what we call the "Dish on Display," a reference tool for marketers to categorize their efforts as well as understand opportunities that are be available to them in the display ecosystem.
The "Dish on Display" identifies the services and solutions marketers need to fully capitalize on display. Everything gets categorized into easy-to-understand categories:
- Media planning and buying -- How will your branddecide which content, audiences, or people to target with display ads?
- Media vendors --Where will your agency or in-house team choose to purchase display inventory from
- Execution technologies -- What technology will you use to target, bid on, and serve your display ads?
- Media enhancements -- What enhancements will you leverage to improve your targeting, tracking, bidding, and creative to generate better results and higher quality placement?
- Business intelligence -- How effective is your display marketing?
Let's take a more in-depth look at each of these categories.