From the simplest first web banner to personalized digital ads.
It is exciting to look back at the history of AdTech and see the great progress.
The future promises even more.
Timeline: a brief history of AdTech
27 Oct. 1994 – the birth of banner ad.
The first web banner AT&T “You will” was published at HotWired (hotwired.com). And it was extremely successful with CTR 44%. Wow! Looks like the golden age, but actually it was just a beginning.
First web banner
1994 – Cookies
One of the most important pieces of data, cookies were implemented in Mosaic and Netscape web browsers in 1994. We can hardly imagine modern online advertising without cookies which allows tracking users’ behavior online.
1995-1997 Advertising networks
In the following years the first ad networks were developed. The most popular of them were, probably, WebConnect and DoubleClick. More than 150 websites were included in the WebConnect network in 1995. One year later advertisers got access to the campaigns’ analytics to see and control the conversion rate, which was the big step forward. Nowadays the market of advertising networks is huge, but it is still growing.
1998-2000 Pop-up & Pop-under burst
Crazy time in the history of AdTech. Our browsers were exploded with pop-up windows and pop-under advertisement. Sometimes it was hard to understand where are you now, because browser was covered with colorful animated pop-ups.
2000 – AdWords
And PPC-advertising in general. Pay-per-click technology promised a lot from the beginning. And our expectations were met. PPC-advertising was developed in the mid-1990s, but major player Google introduced the AdWords in 2000 (with CPC pricing model in 2002). The first advertisers paid something about $.005 to $.25 per click. Today the highest rate could reach $200 per click.
The largest PPC-advertising operators are Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing.
2006 – Mobile ad networks
In 2006 the iPhone wasn’t released yet, but the mobile advertising networks were already developed. The first examples of mobile ads looked like simple text links at the bottom of the screen. Since then mobile advertising strategy went to the next level through targeting, technologies and interactivity. Most of the ad networks, such as AdMob, mMedia, WebOS and Chartboost, are using CPC and CPI pricing models.
2007 – Social Media advertising
For many marketers it is hard to imagine AdTech without Facebook Advertising. The biggest social media platform allows personalizing the ads as much as possible, using the sociodemographic characteristics and other open information about users. Sometimes it looks scary and creates a feeling of total surveillance. Anyway, the instrument is absolutely great for any business.
One of the first Facebook Ads
Since 2007 – ad exchanges and real-time bidding (RTB)
These tools can be seen as the most influential in the last years. They create opportunities for transparency, openness and really effective targeting (and, of course, retargeting!). RTB is more effective than any static actions not only for advertisers, but also for publishers. It is a win-win situation for the whole marketplace.
The most difficult task for the marketers is to choose the right tool among modern AdTech instruments. Facebook, Twitter and fast-growing mobile technologies are the most powerful influences that determine a future of AdTech today. And, of course, video is becoming more and more important direction for digital marketing.
Software solutions for online advertising are developed almost every day. The intelligent technologies help marketers in decision making process, measurements and analytics, providing the software for targeting, delivery and control. Success of the advertising campaigns depends not only on the channel, message and target audience, but also on the downloading speed. In the fast and connected world every millisecond counts. And in the near future this competitive game will be even more intense.
To learn more about AdTech, download the AdTech Optimization Whitepaper.