Peer39 announced Friday their release of SemanticMatch™ ad technology. A few months ago I had an opportunity to preview SemanticMatch with Peer39’s CMO James Oppenheim. It further validated for me the value that is created using semantic technology to deliver relevant content in a context that will create consumer intent. This announcement follows on the heels of Dapper releasing their MashupAds technology a few months ago. Clearly, semantic advertising and the use of semantic web for marketing is starting to take root.
Personally I feel privileged to be working with advertisers and technology providers in pioneering the use and success of semantic ad technology. After just a few projects I am certain semantic web will redefine online advertising — especially display (and if you’ve been reading this blog you know why I feel that way). There’s one piece I’ve yet to touch on however and I think it’s important.
Early adopters both on the publisher and advertiser side will have an incredible competitive advantage. Remember the early days of Overture and AdWords? Where was your business when CPC was so low and users had no idea those were ads? Ironically, those same paradigms apply now with semantic ads.
Semantic ads are really dynamic applications thus they don’t look, feel or seem like banners advertisements. When created well they are relevant and rather helpful tools to further information/content discovery. Here lies the key to advertising success. Don’t believe me? Here’s what David Ogilvy had to say on the matter:
The other huge opportunity is that semantic ads now are leveraging CPMs based on banner performance. This effectively exploits undervaluation of publisher content both in raw ad performance and the added value that the content achieves when it’s matched with semantic ads. Simply put, Semantic Ads, Applications & Widgets provide higher value to advertisers and thus higher value to the publisher — but only the advertisers are reaping the benefits at the moment.
Ideally, advertisers and publishers will work in concert to increase value for everyone in the online ad ecosystem with a focus on creating great experiences by mashing up content and advertising. However, for the next two years forward thinking marketers will have an ROAS field day.
There are so many other things going on in the online ad space that semantic and intelligent web seems to get lost in the noise over Social Media, Behavioral Targeting, Widgets & Video. Even when it’s mentioned the perspective seems to be focused on semantic search and a Google killer. This has been a silver lining.
Not being under the spotlight has benefited these semantic advertising start-ups as they’ve quietly gotten their early rounds of VC and developed under the radar. Those days however are coming to an end. Semantic web and the ads that feed off it will crossover every digital media format and channel. With the performance and consumer benefits I’ve witnessed I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years they single handedly destroy the BT. The value being created for advertisers, publishers and consumers is just too great to be ignored much longer.