As businesses begin to wake up after an Olympic hangover, questions can be raised about what they can take from the spirit exhibited throughout the games. Maybe a focal point to think about is the pace of change online. Sir Tim Berners Lee was a key part of the ceremony and the Olympics would simply not have been the same without the interest, media coverage and scrutiny surrounding the event, most of which was perpetuated online. The internet was the first port of call for individuals looking to amplify their Olympic experience by replaying events, watching in real-time and checking the medal tables.
For any Olympics, the standout event for many people is always the 100m, and it did not disappoint. Usain Bolt was able to wow the crowds with the second fastest time ever – 9.63 seconds. Interestingly, however, it wasn’t all about him. In fact, what made the 100m more remarkable was the speed of all his competitors. For the first time, every individual ran below 10 seconds (apart from Asafa Powell, who pulled up through injury). In such a close race, with everyone at the pinnacle of their performance, a hundredth of a second turned out to be the difference between a medal or not, with Tyson Gay the unlucky individual in this instance.
So what can businesses online learn from this? Well, the metaphor is fairly straightforward. Due to rapid changes in the online landscape, the smallest differences can give one company the competitive edge over another. For technology companies such as Criteo, this means that an ability to scale, house and access data may set them apart from the competition. Criteo on average presents 255,000 images online and 1.2 million RTB requests every 9.63 seconds!
As a market leader in performance display advertising, Criteo is able to harness the information taken from over 3,000 advertisers by combining exceptional data warehousing facilities with an advanced algorithm. It is this passion for success that (like Usain Bolt) separates it from the rest. By investing 40% of its resources in research and development, Criteo is moving away from the field rather than being one of the pack.
The online environment is of course not just about Criteo; the whole space is changing rapidly due to advancements in data warehousing and analysis of big data. Just look at how companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are utilising the information that they store online to sharpen and smarten their products and services. During the 100m, on average, there are 330,000 Google searches, 16,660 tweets and 110,000 Facebook posts. These are of course huge numbers so understanding how to find value in the information that is stored is essential for any of these global organisations, including Criteo.
Google, Facebook and Twitter are increasingly delivering highly sophisticated ways for businesses to reach consumers through dynamic, personalised advertising. As this type of highly relevant advertising begins to be ubiquitous, businesses can benefit by segmenting in an infinitely more granular way, whilst consumers benefit from relevant products they are far more likely to purchase, or in which at least they have an interest. With the wealth of data that is being captured, and the increasing sophistication of advertising as a result, a turning point will soon be reached where consumers will see the benefit and value of online advertising, rather than noticing it as a burden in their online browsing experience.
One final point to add here is the value relevant display advertising can bring to the content ecosystem in real value cannot be underestimated. Remarkable developments in ad technology are enabling media outlets to monetise all their content, enabling them to reach niche audiences and deliver even greater performance to advertisers. In the context of the Olympics, this meant that any journalist and media outlet was able to commentate and provide their opinion on what was simply the greatest stage on earth. Although you may not have been an athlete, your appetite for information meant that you were still in some small way involved – we all were!Global Desk Editor