Mr Regan's article signposts that the future growth in online advertising is not going to be fuelled by the continued and rapid take-up of a new media, as we've seen in the last five years. Rather, it will be by advertisers' recognition that online advertising delivers far more value than click-throughs at the time the ad is viewed, and by innovation from within the ad industry to deliver more value.
The main way we can deliver that value will be to take more notice of consumers' interests. Although incredible progress has been made in a short time, with online advertising now meaning far more than a plain banner, many in the current 'roiling debate' are glossing over consumers' interests. For example, do you, individually, really appreciate larger banners and pop-up windows? Applying short-term measures contrary to consumers' interests in the long term is not a foundation for a sustainable industry.
With the internet and email taking larger portions of consumers' media time, and with the barrage of emails that consumers are starting to receive, more inventive methods will need to be devised for reaching them how they want and when they want. When advertisers finally act on the marketing gap between consumer online time and advertising budgets, there need to be sustainable strategies for them to use.
Rich media, permission marketing and streaming technologies are the current flag-bearers, but it will be exciting to see where we are in another five years when Darwinism has had more time to take effect.