There are 5 main digital media channels where you can purchase online and mobile media.

Display banner ads in their various forms and paid search engine marketing are currently the largest form of online advertising. Traditionally display banner ads have been bought on a cost per thousand (CPM), paid search on a cost per click (CPC) and email marketing on a cost per record. Paid search is the most user friendly and widely understood form of online advertising, used effectively by small businesses as well as large corporates.

Email marketing is probably the most commonly used (often misused) form of online marketing used by businesses. Email marketing can be very effective as a form of customer relationship marketing, which has limited costs outside of company resource hours. However the rise of group buying (or maybe you call it online coupons), has revitalised email marketing as a paid online advertising channel.

Social networking and social media was born in the 2000’s but really only hit it stride as a form of advertising in 2007/8 with MySpace and later for Facebook. Although social media is absolutely mainstream now, we are mostly still learning about how to use it effectively as a marketing tool. In my opinion, few companies have harnessed the power of social to positive returns.

Social media’s core value proposition to advertisers is their vast amounts of personal data and the ability to target niche groups of consumers. At the Future of Digital Advertising conference on the 2nd February 2012, Naveen Tewari, the CEO of inMobi, stated that “90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years”. So you can see why the speculation that Facebook will float on the stock market in 2012 is of much interest and excitement. But this blog is about online media buying and bidding so for your information, Facebook runs a similar bidding model to paid search where the advertiser enters their image and text ad and a maximum cost per click bid.

Mobile is currently the fastest growing digital media channel. InMobi is just one mobile ad network and they served over 80 billion mobile ad impressions to over half a billion people, worldwide, in 2011. There are already more google searches via mobile devices daily than desktop computers. Every year for the last 3 years marketers have been proclaiming “This will be the year of the mobile” and we’re still waiting but its definitely close. It is predicted that mobile eCommerce, mobile banking, mobile shopping and more will become mainsteam in the next 2 years.

Mobile advertising buying operates on a similar model to display banner advertising, bought on a cost per thousand or a CPC. You can also buy homepage takeovers on mobile websites as well as rich media interstitials and video pre-rolls. It’s the ability to target people by their location, mobile device and personal information that makes mobile advertising so powerful.

Online advertising and digital media channels are still emerging. In-game advertising or “gamification” has become more consumer friendly with body movement technology such as Kinect and facial recognition technology.  In-App advertising is also growing, interactive ads are found within apps for newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald as well as simple banner advertising on mobile android and iphone apps. QR codes and Bluetooth marketing have been around for years but never used very effectively, we’re starting to see more interesting uses of these technologies as well as integration with products like Shazam.


Microsoft and NineMSN are introducing a new Real Time Bidding Ad exchange to rival Google's

NineMSN & Microsoft are introducing a new Real Time Bidding Ad exchange to Australian Advertisers

Real time bidding, which automates bidding for display inventory to target desired audiences, between online advertisers. Real time bidding exchanges have shown incredible growth in 2011. In America, online advertising purchased via a bidding exchange grew from 4% of purchased media to 68%. Australia is expected to see that same trend in 2012.

Watch the NineMSN video about the launch of the new Microsoft Ad Exchange in Australia.

5 main online advertising media channels

  1. Display, rich media and affiliate marketing
  2. Search engine marketing (SEM) and the content network
  3. Email marketing and group buying
  4. Social media and social network marketing
  5. Mobile & bluetooth marketing and smart phone applications

Click here to read more detailed information about each of the above online advertising/ digital media channels.