"Shopping Media" – a game changer

I’ve had the great fortune throughout my career to have a front row seat to some pretty exciting events in the development of the Internet and digital media. This includes my time at the helm of DoubleClick, where our acquisition by Google led to the company’s evolution into what is now a booming display advertising business.

Through all of these experiences I’ve learned one important constant—all innovation looks inevitable, except while it’s happening. Online advertising is perhaps the greatest example of this. It’s a business that hasn’t sprung forth fully formed but has rather unfolded from day-to-day and sometimes millisecond-by-millisecond iterations based on ideas from the brand side, the agencies involved and the publishers who benefit from their business. But sometimes, innovation does spring forth and delights us with its obviousness. Today is one of those instances with the announcement of enRICH for Brands by RichRelevance.

This new form of “Shopping Media,” as RichRelevance is coining the phrase, represents an “aha” moment for both online retailers and the brands that want to reach consumers who frequent these shopping sites in a simple equation of pure advertising genius:

200 Million Unique Online Shoppers Per Month
+ Personalized Product Recommendations
+ Brand Advertising Dollars
= Relevant and Engaging Shopping Experiences (Shopping Media)

As an advisor to RichRelevance and its CEO, David Selinger, I’m keenly aware of the efforts that have gone into orchestrating this initiative—starting with building a base of marquis retailers, who are clients of RichRelevance’s personalization technology, to architecting a wholly new ad serving platform that plays into the individual consumer experience. This has been a technological and ambitious feat. Most importantly, what really excites me about enRICH for Brands and the advent of Shopping Media is the bridge it creates between the retailer and the brand – two crucial stakeholders in the consumer experience that until now could only converge through irrelevant advertising vehicles (can anyone say banner, please?) within the e-commerce channel.

So once again, I consider myself lucky to be in the front row of a game-changing effort that is enabling an elegant and powerful means for brand advertising to finally find its home in the e-commerce channel.

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