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How can marketers prepare for the digital ad spend boom in 2017?

According to forecasts released by ZenithOptimedia, next year will mark a global shift in ad spend as digital surpasses TV for the first time, becoming the top area of expenditure by advertisers and marketers.

Major events, such as the Olympics and the Euro football tournament are gathering the world’s attention and brands are already investing more resources than ever into online adverting campaigns. As more marketers turn to digital, 2017 is set to be a watershed year for changing attitudes to online ad spends, but what should marketers be doing now to ensure their budgets are spent effectively?

Prepare for the challenges to make the most of the opportunities

This greater investment in digital means a bigger opportunity to precisely target marketing messages on an individual scale. By using tracked data and demographics to identify the interests of specific individuals, brands can reach desired consumers with pinpoint accuracy. Now, more than ever, it’s time for marketers to harness advertising automation to make campaigns work that extra bit more effectively.

However, along with new opportunities come the challenges. The online ad industry is rife with fraud and waste, and a lack of transparency has inhibited many advertisers and publishers from developing solid relationships. There is also a greater need to deliver engaging, relevant content to cut through the noise of an increasingly crowded ad space

Don’t ignore banner blindness

Marketers are under enormous pressure to cut through the 1,500 ads consumers are exposed to on a daily basis as viewers are subjected to an increasing volume of advertisements. Less intrusive, more relevant and creative ads will become a necessity to avoid the banner blindness that has plagued advertisers in recent years. If brands ignore this issues, and fail to consider the user experience during the planning and development phases, they will fall behind. Ad spend on these campaigns will be wasted as marketing messages and ads are overlooked or actively avoided by consumers. McDonalds recently showcased an innovative way to overcome this and engage users with their own virtual reality experience that let them paint their own Happy Meal box.

Build trust and visibility

As marketers spend more money on digital ads, they are demanding more insight into the ROI on advertising dollars. Until now, no one has had a complete view of the whole buying and selling process. This has negatively impacted trust among publishers and advertisers. With limited understanding of where ad spend is going, the advertiser is unable to get an accurate outlook of their ROI, which leads to them having a poor experience. Similarly, with so many tech providers competing in the space, publishers are only receiving an estimated 40 per cent of the total revenue, and not the full fee paid by the advertiser.

Getting value for money

According to Google, more than 50 per cent of ads aren’t seen and more than $7 billion (£5bn) is wasted on ads that are served to internet bots. With so much fraud and waste in the industry, there needs to be a universal fix that benefits all parties. Marketers need to push for a more transparent ad ecosystem, or risk wasting their budgets on false impressions. This money could otherwise be spent on creating engaging and innovative ad content that elevates the consumer experience and drives more quality engagements.

In order to make the most of the increase in digital ad spend, it’s vital that the entire online advertising ecosystem becomes a more understandable and positive experience for all. Without overcoming the major issues, the industry will miss out. We’re presented with an exciting opportunity to change the way consumers engage with brands forever, and it’s time we step up and make the most of this new and exciting era.

Micke Paqvalén, CEO & Founder, Kiosked

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio