Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A New Direction in the World of Ads

Ad business in its looong history has seen very few transformative moments. Ads business has mostly consisted of the publisher-advertiser team showing things to the users they want to monolog with. Sponsored search was a true transformation: ads were shown based on what users asked--searched for, and it charged for users interacting with the ad, not for been shown one. Perhaps ad exchange was transformative, letting advertisers talk to specific users across contexts.

I am excited now to see some truly new steps in advertising, with miip.  Miip has following components:
  • miip is an InMobi branded ad gadget, 
  • it is customized to the user across sites, apps and aware of the history,
  • it shows curated, beautiful commercial content in a native way,
  • it handles transactions and payments, 
  • it lets users interact with the ad in a social way. 
What is new? 
  • An network that shows ads branding it, is new in ads business, as revolutionary as an Intel Inside sticker on your laptop. 
  • Ads which are primarily user centric gadgets that maintain user state across ad experiences is new. While some of the ``user signals'' are used in ads relevance and targeting, truly individualized ad experience over a prolonged period of time is a real innovation. 
  • Content in mobile is all about beautiful composition (instagram, houzz, pinterest, ..), and making ads beautifully composed is a natural evolution.
  • Handling transaction and payment is more than slapping a BuyItNow button on ads, it is making ads a buying experience. Again, here, content is going through this transformation (eg., video) and about time to make ads go through that experience too.
  • Letting users interact with ads is an ongoing exercise. In the old days, companies uploaded their TV ads to YouTube and let users comment; Or, Hulu used to let viewers tweet the video ads they see, etc. These responses were sparse and not very useful. With Instagram and Facebook, the response of users to ads is more natural, and miip makes it a first class object in the system, trying to make ads a dialog. 
What does it mean to do something transformative? It is a risk, and some of the above aspects may not stick, some maybe truly ahead of its time, etc. But I am glad someone  is instigating and taking the bold step, and even if some of it sticks, advertising business would have been moved to a new place.

ps: Naveen Tiwari, the CEO of InMobi, has a twinkle in his eyes, a big smile on his face, and I am glad to see that instead of declaring victory with doing an India-based B dollar company, he has inspired his people to arch their bows and shoot for something much bigger. 


Post a Comment

<< Home