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Aaron Finn of AdReady and Michael Barr of iPromote discussed the opportunity to serve advertisers interested in display advertising particularly in the self-serve environment. Finn noted that there are roughly 1.4 million businesses participating in search whereas there are only 44,000 businesses participating in display. He believes that there is scale for display and that it’s the next big opportunity for self-service advertisers. Both Finn and Barr noted the importance of easy-to-use automated advertising controls, access to creative tools, and the ability to produce the ad in many display units/sizes and file types.

Fellow panelists Victor Wong of PaperG and Warren Kay of Fox Audience Network echoed some similar sentiments, indicating that self service is here, but it needs to be nurtured. Kay, however, who has been in the local sales environment for years, most recently at Yahoo, simply stated “local sales is difficult.” He said that anyone who thinks he or she can provide a self-service solution and think advertisers are going to flock to it is misguided. While Kay believes that self service is a way to attract customers, he notes that its not the end all be all and that essentially feet-on-the-street options are still critical to local sales.

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