IAB, Bain & Company study looks at challenges that inhibit growth


Interactive sales teams with category and relationship expertise, services that provide solutions to marketer challenges and better measurement are just some of the organizational and systemic challenges that inhibit online ad growth revealed in “Building Brands Online,” a study released by Bain & Company and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Key findings include:
•Online ad formats and creative have not evolved to meet marketers’ needs
•Media companies lack category expertise when they sell to brand marketers and engage with them too late in the media planning process
•Marketers want integrated campaigns instead of platform-specific media programs
•While marketers see high value in online advertising and believe that it could be effective at all stages of the purchase funnel, current industry practices inhibit greater investment of brand ad dollars
•Marketers express needs for differentiated services for their brands and believe that media companies and agencies have to meet those differentiated needs for online advertising to grow.

“The study provides a wealth of insights into how brand marketers perceive online media and what the marketers would like to see media companies do for them. The findings led us to develop an interactive advertising action plan for the industry as a whole, but more importantly, so that the sellers of online media can be more effective at garnering their share of brand advertising dollars,” said Sherrill Mane, SVP, Industry Services, IAB.

“Unmet marketer needs create a major opportunity for media companies to collaborate directly with marketers,” said John Frelinghuysen, a partner in Bain & Company’s media practice and lead author of the study. “But few media companies currently have the capability to fill the gaps in online sales and service.”

The path forward for media companies consists of six steps based on the needs expressed by marketers:

•Create segmented offerings to meet the separate needs of advertisers who are focused on building brands and those who 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.