Platform A: Too little too late for AOL?

The online advertising world is abuzz this Monday morning about the press release from AOL which just crossed the wire.  Specifically, AOL announced that it will:

  1. Create a new online advertising platform, called Platform A, which will integrate the media and technologies across all of AOL's current ad networks including, TACODA, Third Screen Media, Lightningcast, and ADTECH
  2. Relocate its corporate headquarters to New York City

I see this announcement as further fodder for my argument that online advertising is trenching for a comeback, and moving forward will be the backbone of every marketing campaign.  Particular to AOL, I think this is interesting timing for a very aggressive move.  Leadership in the online advertising space was AOL's to lose 5 years ago and that is exactly what they did.  The decision to create an integrated marketing platform and locate themselves where the advertisers are is a great move, but is it too little too late?  Why now for AOL?  Why didn't they make a decision of this scale years ago before they fell into fourth place in the race?

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Omniture continues to extend its execution capabilities

Omniture acquires yet another solution to complement a growing application set for interactive marketers. Last week Omniture announced that it was acquiring Offermatica. I can’t say that I am surprised by the announcement. Omniture had signaled its intent to aggressively pursue its vision of an integrated solution for online marketing with its acquisitions of Touch Clarity and the announcements of SearchCenter and the Genesis platform in the last year. At that time we thought it was a good idea but Omniture needed to – 1)integrate multiple acquisitions 2) handle a large and growing network of partners and 3) learn to compete in new markets. While these imperatives remain true today, two additional themes become particularly relevant. The need to: 1) harmonize the platform around one single data collection and optimization engine and 2) convince the partner network that they intend to collaborate on integrating their tools. The second theme is particularly challenging – What signals is Omniture sending its burgeoning partner network when it cherry picks point solutions like Offermatica?

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Yahoo!/Blue Lithium Further Validates Online Display Ads

The announcment that Yahoo is buying ad network Blue Lithium comes at a ponderous time for me since I'm just wrapping up the research for Forrester's forecast of Interactive Marketing Spending and (report is due Sept 28).  Per that research, I'm finding that indeed interactive budgets are on their way up with marketers (still) most interested in search and (newly interested in) online video. Display ads continue to be a part of almost all online campaigns and yet no marketer has much to say about them.  Marketers and vendors alike have commented that display ads as a medium have undersold themselves since the early 2000s.  Basically display ads have capabilities that no marketer knows/cares about.  Or that has not yet been fully exploited.

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