MIAMI — Twenty-two years after the first web banner ad, you may have thought the online advertising business was pretty mature by now. But fear over a worsening consumer advertising sentiment, plus excitement about a new wave of ad outcomes, may mean the industry is only just beginning.

“Most advertising today isn’t relevant,” according to Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman, whose company measures web audiences. “It doesn’t have to be that way.”

Feldman sees a parallel with another online business that, once, was nascent but which has certainly now grown up.

“Think about our experience with search,” he tells Beet.TV. “Whenever we conduct a search, most of the results that come back are relevant and useful to us. That demonstrates the power of data and technology. Web search is only 20 years old. The same opportunity exists for all other forms of media.”

Looking beyond what digital ads look, feel and perform like today is only natural. Despite growing to represent the largest-grossing ad medium in many countries now, online ads are suffering from audience aversion and often plummeting effectiveness. It’s no wonder a smorgasbord of ad-tech vendors is claiming to bring a whole new, more upbeat paradigm shift to a gloomy sector.

For Feldman, that will come not from rerouting existing ad practices through programmatic channels but in the ability to crunch data en masse, better targeting to achieve better relevance.

“The much larger opportunity is how we make advertising relevant for consumers and drive better outcomes by using data and technology modify content in real-time,” he says. “It’s still quite early.”


This video was recorded at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Miami.   For additional interviews, please visit this page. Beet.TV’s coverage of the 4A’s was sponsored by The Trade Desk.