Article by Paul Fisher. First published in AdNews, October 10 2010

Local PMS – it's a catchy phrase and one you can expect to hear a lot more of if my experience at the recent 2010 MIXX Conference in New York is anything to go by. Speaker after speaker from Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and others seemed to repeat forecasts that in the months and years ahead, online display advertising would become more local, more personal, more mobile and more social.

More Local: Many view the first generation of the internet as being PC-based and so with the advent of portals and then search engines, information, content and services were sought and accessed on a global basis. This scenario changes with the advent of wi-fi and 3G (now 4G). Faster speeds, lower access plans and of course an explosion in mobile devices, allow us to pull down web content wherever we are situated, not just where our PC is situated.

Added to this is the ability to select location-based services if we opt to activate the GPS in our mobile devices; and better online geographic targeting of devices. In turn this leads to more local content, more local directories and of course more local advertising.

As we (as consumers) engage more with our social network enabling platforms and consent to even more data being used for our benefit – think relevancy – the day is not far away when the only advertising we opt in to receive will be local. That locality will either be to where we indicate we are based whether living or working; to where we happen to be at that time – think 4square.

I think you'll find that the term hyper-local is something you will read more about as content, services and advertising are offered to consumers in exchange for details of their locations.

Personal Advertising: Another consequence of increased data mining, the tracking of behaviour online and the consent we give as consumers for data to be used, is the ability to receive increasingly more relevant products and services in advertising. We'll also see a lot more personal advertising when we're logged in to activities such as social networking, opt in sites, and other areas across the web where we choose to share our more personal data or our preferences for content and advertising categories and our exemption from other categories.

I expect to see growth in direct marketing across devices and sites continue apace as advertisers seek to engage, reach and influence consumers initially by observing our browser behaviour; and progressively in exchange for our permission-based sharing and opt-in provision of information.

Mobile: Some startling figures were bandied around during MIXX. How about the fact that 197 million mobile handsets will be shipped in the US alone in 2010! Nielsen reported that over one third of Australians accessed the internet from their mobile devices last month and that number is growing. A Gartner report recently released forecast sales of tablets to rise from 50 million in 2010 to 208 million in 2014. And Professor Manuel Castells, former advisor to Barack Obama, claimed that the number of consumers using their mobile to browse the internet will surpass those who use their desktop computer to do so by 2014.

If that isn't enough to get you focused on the growing role of mobile I'll be surprised. I'd suggest that the key take outs for marketers is that mobile will clearly and directly link to locality and time of day/week consumption. One view, expressed by a Google executive, was that the first interaction we will have with content, services and advertising each day (i.e. when we wake up and on our way into work) will be on a mobile device.

The final buzz was not surprising around social. And while the mere mention of social can send people off into diatribes about Facebook, Twitter or some other platform, the forecast for online display advertising is that the ads themselves will increasingly be socially enabled. That is consumers will be able to comment on ads, forward them to friends or post them in their own social networks. They'll also be able to add commentary to live twitter feeds about the product or the brand in the ad, as well as to rate the ad or use many other socially-enabled features. These features will become a rich source of live feedback for media and creative agencies - and of course clients. It will also be great for the growing number of "sentiment analysis" companies.

When you add the power of this Local PMS to predictions that display ads will get bigger, will be less cluttered, and that they will provide brands with direct response and social enablement all in the one ad placement and we have a very exciting formula for the Australian online display advertising market.

So exciting that I think we'll see the sector grow from $550m in 2010 to over $1 billion by 2014.

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