Scott Rafer gets it. I don’t know Scott, though I think we both spoke at CommunityNext and WidgetWorld Expo over the past year. In any case, his thoughts on the Lookery blog capture an important point that deserves an exclamation.
“The increasing marginal returns of search advertising are now doing more than taking market share from display advertising, they are en route to becoming display advertising’s operating principle.”
I drove home the exact same point during Advertising Week!
I always placed my bets with search. For a decade I focused my career on it. First with SEO, then UX, then the buy side with campaign & bid management and finally the sell side with landing pages, multivariate testing & content targeting.
However, if you are to believe Marissa Mayer of Google, search is 90% solved. Working in Search all those years, I believe her. That is why I started RAMP and I am placing my bets now that what Scott sees will indeed become reality. Search will continue to morph into a Display OS.
Contrary to Search, I estimate Display is only 10% solved. The opportunity dwarfs search. Besides all the hurting publishers and advertisers the changes will drive the emerging channels of online video and social media not to mention already creeping into TV, Mobile and Outdoor.
Display will rise again but it will look nothing like it did before. There will be plenty of road kill. Good riddance.
Bring relevance. Get performance.
Here are a couple of posts from January & June 2007 focusing on search practices emerging into display (or vice versa depending on your point of view):