Digital Disrupt: Ad Platforms Taking the Display Ad Marketplace By Storm / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

With the US retail industry expecting to reach $12.91 billion in 2015, display ad platforms have to be both innovative and effective.

As advertisers and marketers continue to better understand omnichannel and multi-screen strategies for retailers, it shouldn’t comes as a surprise that they’re rapidly embracing display ads.

With the US retail industry expecting to reach $12.91 billion in 2015, and an astounding $19.98 billion by 2019, display ad platforms will have to be innovative, effective and efficient if they want to successfully stay ahead of the competition.

Better yet, they’re going to have to completely disrupt the industry like the following four platforms. Let's take a look at the movers and shakers of the display ad world. 

1. StaMedia

StaMedia is a Texas-based company that’s out to change the game.

How? By offering innovative and patented technology that allows visitors to stay on the website, video or app that they’re viewing. This is accomplished by a layer of technology that actually “wraps” around the content which then lets the visitor enter his or her information in the ad, hence why they’re “stay” media.

StaMedia Screenshot

This disrupts the display ad marketplace because not only does StaMedia provide an uninterrupted viewing experience, consumers can select their preferred method of delivery—either email, social or phone—directly in the ad. This not only gives the customer a better visual experience, it will enhance the experience of advertisers and publishers as well, since publishers do not have to lose traffic in order to monetize their ad space with StaMedia.

2. Pandora Ads

Founded in 2000, the music streaming and music recommendation service from San Francisco has more than 150 million users—which definitely should make it attractive to advertisers and marketers. Although Pandora sold its first advertisement in 2005, it began to experiment with banner ads on its mobile app in 2014 through an exchange program.

Red Bull Pandora Advertisement

Image via Pandora

The Pandora Ads exchange allows advertisers to place bids for how much they’re willing to pay, as well as targeting specific listeners on certain channels—as opposed to just advertising to a broad audience. Advertisers can target listeners by age, gender and location, which seems to have paid off.

Kellogg's Pop Tarts, for example, sponsored the Crazy Good Summer concert on Pandora in the summer of 2014. The campaign resulted in being heard in 4 million homes and an incremental sales increase of 7 percent.

3. Skype Ads

Released in 2003, Skype has been relied on by over 300 million users worldwide for their communications solution. Just like Pandora, no wonder advertisers would flock to the Microsoft-owned product. In 2012, Skype introduced ‘Conversion Ads.’ The ads appear in calling windows of Skype Audio users, aka people who haven’t paid for a subscription, and are based on age, gender and location.

Advertisers can use the ads to help customers interact with their contacts through Skype’s connective features like Skype-to-Skype Voice, Skype-to-Skype Video, Chat, Screen Sharing, Mobile and Facebook Feed.

Nissan Ad on Skype

Image via Microsoft

Nissan used the ads for a six-week Altima campaign that resulted in “a 103 percent lift in intent to purchase versus an unexposed audience.” Additionally, those exposed to the ads were 275 percent more likely to conduct branded keyword searches versus an unexposed audience.”

4. Instagram Ads

Launched in 2010, the online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service, has since been acquired by Facebook and has more than 300 million users. Instagram first toyed around with advertising in October 2013. Initially, there was a backlash from users, but that has since faded with time has the company developed a strategy.

In June 2015, Instagram announced that it would be opening its advertising service to all marketers. Marketers can target users by interest, age, gender and other factors, just like on Facebook. However, Instagram is also testing an ad format that will allow viewers to click on a link to purchase a product or install an app.

Advertising on Instagram

Image via Marketing Land

Instagram has an impressive record of helping brands raise awareness in new products, increase website traffic, and improve purchase intent. With the new advertising feature, marketers could more effectively reach the coveted younger demographic—teenagers and people in their 20’s—since that is the demographic that are leaving Facebook for Instagram.

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