Auction media taking over: Did-it's Lee at ad:tech New York

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NEW YORK -- Search is evolving little by little and this evolution is truly changing the way that consumers react to content being marketed to them, according to Kevin Lee, cofounder and executive chairman of Did-it, and a speaker at the ad:tech New York conference.

Consumers react to targeted ads better, especially with the growth in popularity of TiVo and DirecTV, Mr. Lee said Nov. 6. They now have more ways of avoiding ads that do not interest them, he said in a solo panel talk called, "The Coming Media Evolution - Relevance, Auctions and Marketplaces."

"The crisis at hand is the ever-changing behavior of consumers," Mr. Lee said. "Content is created and therefore consumed differently, and attitudes about targeting and privacy are mixed."

Mr. Lee said another problem is the fact that bringing consumers more relevant ads is proving to be more expensive for marketers, even with the many media choices.

Some of the more popular media channels today are cable, podcasts, the Web, blogs and magazines, Mr. Lee said.

"Auction media is taking over," he told the ad:tech audience of interactive marketers.

He said that the recent news regarding RightMedia and Yahoo as well as Google and YouTube should not be taken lightly. He expects they will open doors of marketing opportunity to marketers.

A problem that arises with the popularity of auction media is the fact that it does not have a high level of control. It is almost like making decisions in a black box - one can never be sure of the outcome.

"The big three - Google, Yahoo and MSN - are now offering targeting parameters to marketers," Mr. Lee said. "Allowing marketers to target according to age, gender and location can give a little of that control back."

It's not just about the big three anymore. Other players are in the game and it is important to know who they are.

Mr. Lee said Miva, Kanoodle, Quigo, Enversa, RightMedia and Ask are among some of the other players that have been stepping up to the plate. He sees potential for targeting in the future.

"I see a lot of opportunity for targeted advertising through mobile, cable and satellite radio," Mr. Lee said. "With cable there already sits a structure to add more targeting through the cable box as each one can be traced to an individual household.

"Mobile phones have ESNs, which could also be used to build a profile on an individual," he said.

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