Advertisers Must Prepare For Dramatic Shift That Will Change the Future of Digital Marketing

With digital marketing at a tipping point where mobile is overtaking PCs and new avenues like programmatic display advertising are demonstrating improved ROI efficiency, advertisers need to adapt their marketing budgets and media mix accordingly or potentially get left behind.

While Google has dominated the industry for decades, recent trends show that the search engine’s PPC ads are beginning to give way to other effective, highly targeted methods such as programmatic display advertising. Growing by 20 percent annually, this more precise, adjustable and trackable technique for display advertising is more frequently being adopted by advertisers and publishers with media expenditures expected to exceed $15 billion for 2015. Early adopters have also begun diversifying their ad spends into social media advertising and product listing ads on Google and Amazon.

The industry is also facing this media mix shift because for the first time ever, the majority of paid clicks, marketing spend and organic traffic is now coming from smartphones in 2015, surpassing desktops, laptops and tablets. And this “mobile moment”, as defined by Google, is not a fleeting trend. Recent data shows that U.S. mobile ad spend will hit nearly $42 billion in 2018, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate of 43 percent.

As marketers develop their 2016 advertising budgets this September, advertisers must diversify their spending into the noted channels, which are experiencing significant growth, and to allocate dollars to target the most-used devices. While most advertisers did not plan for these consumer and industry changes in 2015, they must do so for 2016 or face falling significantly behind in the marketplace.

This is a monumental moment for the internet marketing industry. Display advertising is finally taking back control of what it lost when the internet bubble burst, search took over, and Google changed the playing field. Now, advertisers must reposition their budget dollars away from paid search and expand into new, more effective channels that better target audiences and can be tangibly evaluated through cross-device web analytics.

About Tim Daly