Viewpoint: Joe Fernandez, assistant editor, Pitch

  • Click here to read the cover story relating to this ’Confounded by the complexity of the web?’
  • Click here to read how Eurostar has upped its online spend
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The web has evolved into a complex beast since its conception and keeping up with that will always be a challenge.

For this reason, it’s perhaps unsurprising that marketers prefer to leave it to the experts to place their ads in the online locations that they feel work best for a particular brand.

What’s more important is that marketers find the time to ensure their web strategy is right for the brand and does not prove to be detrimental. Remember the outrage when Marks & Spencer allowed alcohol adverts to appear on a pre-teen gaming website?

Yet, most marketers will leave the responsibility of placing ads in the hands of their media agencies, which in turn go to the major ad networks first.

The reasons for this are much the same as why traditional ads will debut and subsequently play during a set time of the day around selected programmes – it is where the eyeballs will be and where the recall opportunities will be highest.

There are now greater opportunities for brands to target people in a particular mindset, and marketers need to get up to speed in terms of understanding how to target these different mindsets. Those that want to appeal to a gaming audience, for example, need to focus on where they go online. Gamers will naturally gravitate to seeking out the latest news, reviews, cheats or forums that focus on their hobby. So advertisers should focus on being present around these opportunities.

The smartphone and iPad era means that understanding these mindsets is all the more important. Agencies are working closely with manufacturers to maximise branding opportunities on these devices, and in turn explore new advertising potential. This truly will give content owners the very best possible yield on its ad inventory.

But marketers need to educate themselves quickly in online advertising if they are to take advantage of new opportunities based around targeting the right audience in the digital space.

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