Doug Crichton: Nicht zurücklehnen

18. Oktober 2007, 13:11
4 Postings

Douglas Crichton, Motherboard Media, über Online-Werbung und Defizite im Bereich der Messinstrumente, der Agenturen und Sites

Douglas Crichton, Motherboard Media, meint in seinem Beitrag für den Ad-Blog, dass dem Bereich Online-Werbung eine rosige Zukunft prognostiziert wird. Dennoch besteht kein Grund, sich zurückzulehnen. Crichton ortet zum Beispiel bei den Messinstrumenten noch erheblichen Nachholbedarf. Die ÖWA-Plus sei zwar auf einem guten Weg, dennoch müssten viel mehr Sites an der Erhebung teilnehmen. Crichton wünscht sich mehr österreichische Websites, die sich mit den Themen "Gesundheit, Reise, Lifestyle" etc. auseinandersetzen. So könnte die "Abwanderung" der User auf .de-Domains gestoppt werden. Bei der Platzierung der Werbung auf den Sites konstatiert er noch enormes Potenzial, da dies bis dato zu unstrukturiert ablaufe. Die Werbeagenturen sollten seiner Meinung nach Online-Kampagnen schon bei der Konzeption miteinplanen. Hier gäbe es noch enorme Defizite.


This is No Time to Sit Back and Count the Profits

There is no question that Online Advertising is growing and is here to stay. Business is booming, as they say. We hear it all the time in Austria and certainly at venues like Östereichischen Medientage and OMD Düsseldorf. But although the skies are all blue and it looks like continued growth and steady development for the next few years, this is not the time to sit back and relax. The Online Market in Austria still has a long way to go and there is a lot of room for improvement and further investment to ensure continued growth.


The ÖWA Plus is off to a good start, but this measurement tool needs a lot more work (and more participating sites) to reach the status of "market currency". This is one area where other players in the research field are not sitting still. Gemius is establishing advanced measures and exciting tools for the Austrian Market. And as many of us saw in Düsseldorf, Comscore has two years worth of Austrian Panel Data (the user-centric measure preferred by most onliners) for Home and Work sitting in their databases right now. They have software tools that are usable right now, that can calculate Unique User Duplication between sites as well as Reach and Frequency from actual media schedules. Why they did not tell anybody here is a mystery.

Need more accurate competitive spending counts from the Market and the inclusion of Search, Email, Affiliate, and Mobile marketing. This is not a system we can leave idle, it needs constant revision.


There is great opportunity for additional sites in the market. A quick glance at the Comscore data Top 100 Austrian sites still shows a huge migration of Austrian Traffic to DE domains. Perhaps audiences aren’t getting what they need here at home. We need further investment into site Categories like Travel/lifestyle, Epicurean, Men’s and Women’s Portals, Luxury Lifestyles, Health and Fitness. I have seen that Styria Media is developing a flock of new lifestyle sites, but I hope there is substantial investment behind these launches to build and sustain audience growth. It is not enough to slap-up a site and insert Google AdSense and come knocking on Agency Doors looking for advertising budgets. We have seen many websites launched in the last years with little financial support, and they are left out there to die as weak media properties with no future. The potential is huge in Media Property Development. Where are the Venture Capitalists in Austria?

Sites also need to staff up for future growth, building stronger campaign management teams, and developing Senior Management with a sense of Vision, Inspiration and Creativity for this medium. One must applaud the senior management at The team of Mitteräcker, Hinterleitner, Stöcher and Weinmaier have continuously adapted, improved and experimented with an eye towards the future and the site reflects that in both the advertising and editorial products. One can also see that sense of "inspired vision" in sites like,, and the Tripple Network. Media Executives with that Vision will be important for growth over the next five years.


The market is still lagging in many day-to-day processes of doing the business. While we have come a long way, Online Advertising is still a very time-consuming, frustrating and often confusing business. We need to improve and streamline the way advertising campaigns get planned, booked, reported and paid.

Need standardized workflow processes and paperwork to save time and build a structure for the Future. A structure that provides for a new agency hire to sit down on Day 1 and see what needs to be done to plan, book, report and invoice an Online campaign. Along those lines, the Online Market needs to be included in the Leading Media (Qualiant) system, help speed up the planning and booking process for Agencies.

Need better campaign management tools (or additional staff). We are seeing more under-delivery of campaigns, in some cases because of poor management and other cases of over-booked inventory. But when a campaign does not deliver on time, it costs much time and excessive headaches. Need to look back at Format Standards. With my last count, I saw 6 different formats called "Skyscraper" and 5 different formats called "Content Ad" in the Market, all with individual pixel sizes. That is no way to bring clarity to the market. And talking about Content Ads (300 x 250 pixels), it would be nice if Austrian sites could place these formats "in content" like they are supposed to be. Only about 25% of the sites in the market understand the placement. If it is "in content", in the middle of the page it is more valuable to the advertiser, because it is in the way of the readers vision. We know that if the Editorial (content) product is good and engaging, then the viewer will see the ad. If the Content Ad is way over on the side of the page, away from Content it should have a lower price and be called a short-fat skyscraper or a big-fat button.


Need to staff up. Even though many agency teams have doubled in size this year, there is still need to invest in staff and develop new talent to strengthen Digital teams. For one thing, the current infrastructure requires numerous hands to handle the time-consuming daily business. Another reason is the diversity in Client-side experience that is forcing agency professionals to the limits. One day you may be presenting to a highly sophisticated, experienced ROI-oriented client and the next day describing what a full banner looks like. It’s a very time-consuming business, and there are no off-the-shelf solutions, each Client is unique with individual needs, expectations and targets. Senior online executives need time to see the big picture, think big ideas, develop meaningful strategies, direct the development of their agencies (and the overall market), and those demands are incompatible with the paperwork and number-crunching that overwhelms the market right now.

Need advanced education of online media throughout the entire agency. Babs Rangaiah, director of media and entertainment at Unilever USA said a few months ago "We can not have silos ... digital is now just part of the fabric of who consumers are, . . . Planners have got to have a better sense of the entire media landscape,". In my opinion he was talking about media planners as well as account planners and creative directors. A better understanding of Online must permeate the whole Agency structure.


Need to include online at the start of the entire communication planning cycle, not as an after-thought. Babs Rangaiah, of Unilever USA also said in his speech that "Digital (planning), should happen at the front end in some cases". Rather, it is difficult to make Online work optimally when it is attached to a campaign after all the other pieces are firmly in place and running. I think in a few years, advertisers will asking themselves how is Broadcast and Print going to enhance our Online presence, not the other way around.

Need to give Planners adequate time to plan and to book more in advance. Inventory on Popular sites is much more limited these days, available space might not be there online a few weeks before. Need creative on time, this will continue to cause headaches and expend time and money for Agencies and Sites. Need more Online Budget. Any site and agency can illustrate that Consumer’s time spent with Online media is a much higher percentage than is reflected in the online ad spending level. The eyeballs are there and they still represent a quality audience. We see huge increases in Year to Year online ad spending by major advertisers like HP, INGDiba, Drei, Bwin, Eduscho. They would not be pouring more money into online if it wasn’t working.

Maybe there is time for a quick pat-on-the-back, but we should not stop looking for smart investments, ways to improve and streamline daily business, and new building blocks for future growth. (Douglas Crichton/05.10.2007)

  • Douglas Crichton gründete 1996 Motherboard Media. Crichton ist seit vielen Jahren in den Bereichen traditioneller und Online Medienplanung, Medieneinkauf und Marktforschung tätig. Er arbeitete in verschiedenen Mediapositionen bei internationalen Top Agenturen wie Lintas, Wells Rich Greene BDDP, Grey, Deutsch Inc., und Morgan Anderson Consulting.

    Douglas Crichton gründete 1996 Motherboard Media. Crichton ist seit vielen Jahren in den Bereichen traditioneller und Online Medienplanung, Medieneinkauf und Marktforschung tätig. Er arbeitete in verschiedenen Mediapositionen bei internationalen Top Agenturen wie Lintas, Wells Rich Greene BDDP, Grey, Deutsch Inc., und Morgan Anderson Consulting.

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