Monday, January 02, 2006

Auto Ad Inventory Shortage and the BT Opportunity

There's yet another bit of evidence of the dreaded Online Inventory Ad Shortage. Evidently, auto advertisers have already purchased 80% of 2006 inventory on third-party auto sites. That's certainly significant. It shows the level of research the auto shoppers are engaging in before their purchase.

But it also shows the real opportunity for targeting solutions. It's true, as Julie Ask is quoted as saying, that you can only sell so many ads on an auto site. That auto buyer, however, is going to visit many, many more sites which are about all sorts of things besides autos. I've talked about behavioral targeting for a while, noting that advertisers are interested in using it, but are unclear about how. That gap has always represented an opportunity.

But maybe there has never been a real catalyst to force advertisers to look at the opportunity seriously? Take this situation. If you're somehow late to the game, and find all the 'good' inventory gone, you've got to do something. Taking crummy inventory is a pretty sad second option. Mix this with the fact that auto publishers may see a great secondary market for site-visitor data, and we may finally have the right environmental factors at play to make behavioral targeting very, very attractive.
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