A study from Bain & Company found that in 2005, US commercial websites offered just over 200 million ad impressions for sale to marketers. Three years later (2008), there were four times as many impressions offered (about 800 million).
During that same 3 year period the cost of buying a banner ad in terms of CPM (cost per thousand) dropped by half. While lower costs are good for marketers, the added complexity means more time spent int he evaluation process.
Targeting online audiences gets harder with every passing year because there are more online destinations competing for attention and in need of evaluation. This trend has not slowed down. From 2008 until 2011 the number of online destinations has increased by about 40%.
But there is also opportunity here. As media become more fragmented it becomes easier to make your media buys more tightly focused. Want to reach a highly influential sub-group in your target audience? There could be an influential newsletter or blog. The key is to constantly evaluate the medial landscape in your markets. Sound like a lot of extra work? Yes. But there is opportunity to gain advantage for those willing to spend the time. Download the Bain study