A New Analyst "On Display" at Forrester

I’ve spent the last 10 years, on and off, representing the buy side of the display marketing equation.  For many years I held the post of Media Supervisor at digital marketing leader Razorfish, managing the display efforts for a Fortune 500 financial services brand.  I co-founded, and successfully ramped, the “agency trading desk”, ATOM Systems, for my agency.  And I worked within Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi Nerve Center as an educator and advocate for the in-house audience buying solution, Audience on Demand, as AOD’s head of Brand Relations. 

Never did I really get a chance to take a step back and contemplate the big picture – What are publishers struggling with in this rapidly changing ecosystem?  How do the different point solutions (many of them technology based, these days) fit together… or not? What are the challenges that digital marketers are facing in their (often uphill) battle to grow digital’s share of spend, and what are some solutions?  Taking off my buy-side hat and taking a step back, as the newest member of Forrester’s Interactive Marketing group, offers a welcome change in viewpoint! 

 My experience over the last few years, however, does give me a unique point of view - I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking about how the modes of acquiring, optimizing, reporting on and deriving insight from display media are going through a dramatic shift.  This shift is a direct result of the rise of ad exchanges like Yahoo!’s RMX and Google's ADX, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) like Invite Media and MediaMath, data marketplaces like BlueKai, and more.  I strongly believe that we’re at an inflection point in how a significant portion of Display media will be managed – and by whom - going forward, and I personally look forward to sharing my perspective on it with this community. 

That said, look for docs from me in the coming weeks and months which address topics including the increasingly common “ad networks or DSPs… or both?” question, “what is campaign verification and how/when does it make sense for me?”, and “how can I think about Search and Display more holistically?” among other things!


Center Page Ad Units

Hi Joanna,

Congrats on the new gig.

Question for you. I wonder what you perspective is on the rise of content as advertising within the social space. I've recently been making the argument to folks that advertising is migrating from the borders of the page to the center. Yes, it has different etiquette and delivery platforms, but at the core its still advertising.

Do you agree with this? Or see it impacting display?

- Tewks

some thoughts on Tewks's question

Tewks – thanks for the feedback, and for your question! I think of myself as more of a data/technology nerd when it comes to Display, and less of a social media maven. So I polled a group of social media experts here at Forrester to get their thoughts. Here’s what some leaders in the space had to say:

Augie Ray, Senior Analyst (http://blogs.forrester.com/augie_ray) had this perspective: “…the differences between advertising and brand content in social media are far more than just “different etiquette and delivery platforms.” Advertising and social media have significantly different processes, resources, objectives, metrics, consumer expectations and outcomes. A brand that approaches their social media strategy with too great a focus on advertising objectives will not build the same sort of affinity and relationships of brands that consider the greater outcomes that can come from social media.”

Melissa Parrish, Analyst (http://blogs.forrester.com/melissa_parrish) added, “… if a marketer is doing social content well, they're providing value to the consumer within the content itself. It may just be info that the consumer didn't previously have, or it may be some super-fantastic way to interact, etc. Regardless, there is a value to the consumer within that piece of social marketing-- it's not an ad about a product that may provide some value when the consumer experiences it (in the future). Will that impact display? I don't have strong opinions on that beyond the possibility that as consumers become more comfortable with-- and begin to expect-- a deep level of engagement with their favorite brands, they may ignore display ads even more than they do now. But I also don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Display can be a really effective way to drive traffic to social marketing initiatives, for example.”

And Shar VanBoskirk, VP (http://blogs.forrester.com/shar_vanboskirk) had these thoughts: “… the idea of content as promotion for a brand or product isn’t new or unique to social. I’m thinking here content like the do it yourself tutorials on Home Depot that are written by Home Depot, or by Anderson Windows or Behr Paints. Or articles about active things to do with your kids in order to set healthy weight expectations that are written by Kraft or Dove. Social media has certainly proliferated content online, but…well-crafted content (social or otherwise) plays a huge role in positioning a brand in a certain light. I.e. one that understands women home owners, or is about a healthy body image, or empowers parents.”

So, Tewks, in exchange for your question to me, I bring you a multitude of Forrester perspectives! Here’s mine: Display is evolving and fast, for myriad reasons – the rise of social, the development and adoption of new technologies - that are changing the buying processes and creating new modes of connecting advertisers and audiences. That said, the most important thing a marketer can do is always remember to keep customers at the center of the equation. All the things we’re discussing should be thought of as vehicles to this end.



Congrats on the new gig - Forrester is lucky to have you. Looking forward to seeing your research & opinions!


Thanks so much, Scott! Appreciate that! Very excited to be here!

Congratulations on the new

Congratulations on the new gig Johanna. Looking forward to read your opinions.


Thanks so much, Ivana! Appreciate it! Very excited to be here!

Glad you joined the team.

Hi Joanna, I'm a Forrester client and very much interested in learning more about your perspective on the future of display advertising, as this is intimately tied to my business. I am off for vacation but will make sure to book an intro call for September. Best regards!

look forward to it!

Hi Marc! Thanks so much for reaching out. Would be very happy to discuss this with you upon your return. In the meantime, happy vacationing!




Thank you very much for the thorough response. Certainly some thought provoking points of view.

As a follow-up, let me precursor the above to state I'm of the mind that social is at the tipping point of breaking into various disciplines. Before there was email, search, display, etc. specializations there was just one overarching web, or online strategy. The folks over at Altimeter have offered up there 18 uses, but I think there is a more concrete, pragmatic breakdown more applicable to the way marketers do things.

Three areas I'm spending time working with are community engagement (where I think Augie's perspective is coming from), social intelligence (I'm not sure if Zach or I, or someone else for that matter used the term first), and content syndication. Syndication is the area that I see that most closely mirrors the display world. Looking at some of the emerging technologies from companies like SpredFast and Alterian's own social publishing tools strike me like early stage adserving platforms like DoubleClick, Atlas, etc.

A little professional wager? Will we see the rise of content platforms and contentNetworks that mirror what happened in the display world? I'll put a bottle of Opus 1 on it!

- Tewks