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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
Accessing niche markets 3D:InteractiveMD Mark Halstead explains how ad networks are capitalising on savvy, targeted internet audiences. Can you tell us about the background of 3D:Interactive? 3D:Interactive is an ad sales representation business or what is more commonly referred to as an ad network. We have been in the market since 1999 and in 2005 were acquired by an ASX listed company called Q Ltd. Our ad network is made up of websites, permission email databases and mobile marketing assets. We act as the sales team and aggregate and monetise those assets through advertising. Our key clients are the major media agencies in Australia What do you look for in possible clients? Ifa website wanted to join our network, it depends on the niche or nature of the users. This is where the major advantages of ad networks are to online advertisers, as we provide access to niche audiences in clusters. There is a current shift that more advertisers are moving away from the major online portals like Ninemsn, Yahoo! and Fairfax. To date they have been getting something like 70% of the online ad revenues, where the ad networks are now starting to get a much bigger lion’s share. The portals are good for inexperienced people, but today the experienced internet user doesn’t use portals and we are there to shake that line of thinking from the media buyers. Don’t give the lion’s share of your ad dollars to the major portals when a more targeted audience is at the niche site. In the wake of the Google/DoubleClick acquisition, what sort of impact has that had on your business? In the short term I don’t see any impact on our business. To be honest, there should be more consolidation and integration of products online. As an ad network we are quite fluid. We don’t actually own anything but we represent media opportunities. If there was a site launched tomorrow that we thought was the next biggest thing, then wewould go and represent that. The other big thing is that we don’t own technology, but we use the technology that is best available to us. Not owning it means we can chop and change as required. What is your opinion of the different measurement methodologies currently in the market? Wewould like to see an industry standard. Wewould like to see that the ad dollars do growand with the amount of money that is being spent online today, advertisers are wanting to ensure that it is accountable. The sooner that, as an industry,we can work towards a standard that ticks all the boxes for media agencies as well as publishers, I think it is for the better. I believe the IAB are working on measurement as a priority currently and we are keeping our eyes on that. Are you happy with what NetRatings are delivering? I am, that is why we signed them up. We are led by what our clients are doing. If media agencies are saying that they want to use something else, we will make sure we are tracked by it, but at the moment it is Nielsen. But it can adapt and change to whatever is demanded by the market. How do you see the market changing in the next 6-12 months? I think the whole online ad market should continue to growaround 20-25%. I think ad networks will probably growa bit faster than that, recognising that more eyeballs are out of the portals and into more niche sites. I also see an increase in email marketing as a requirement for clients. Again it is highly targeted and highly responsive and we hope this will be a big year for mobile. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 63