2016: The Year of Display?

“2016 will be the year in which digital display ad spending surpasses search ad spending in the US,” according to eMarketer’s latest report on digital advertising developments in 2016. More specifically, they predict that display spending will hit $32.17 billion over search’s $29.24 billion. The various trends eMarketer identified, coupled with the statistical evidence, may in fact point to this year generating the most spend in digital display than ever before. More importantly, 2016 is the year that marketers will accept this growth, and they will accept that the digital shift online must ultimately be powered not by traditional display, but rather by the innovative programmatic solutions that continue to make their way into the market.

The below chart breaks down the categories of digital display spend, including rich media, “banners and other”, video and video sponsorships:

eMarketer Display Chart

In addition to programmatic, the report touches on trends like cross-screen consumer habits, the unification of ad tech and marketing technologies, ad blocking, and viewability and ad fraud. Now, marketers look to tap solutions that offer better efficiencies with the buy, while also catering to the growing video consumption and mobile device usage by consumers. With the majority of consumers on mobile, more interactive marketing strategies have been adopted, as marketers continue to fine-tune their data and create more effective one to one interactions with consumers.

Here are a few things that we see driving some major growth in digital display in 2016 and beyond:

  • Today, marketers are starting to leverage the ability to identify individuals through advanced targeting techniques – both with custom lists and devices
  • There is a greater focus on full funnel marketing to generate awareness as well as close sales
  • Mobile adoption has happened both on Search and Display, and rich video is a way to engage the consumer, while building more focused awareness when compared to traditional media
  • Most companies have actually had their “mobile moment” when mobile traffic has surpassed desktop.
  • Programmatic solutions will continue to grow, and the focus will be on a platform that can buy cross solution – device, network and creative fulfillment – to make it easier to compete in the market and manage the internal marketing efforts

Will 2016 be the “Year of Display”? Technology is slowly but surely starting to catch up with the demand, and the stage seems to be finally set for cross-device programmatic to take a leap forward. Though challenges do still exist, the consumer will continue to push us for more relevance, timeliness and creativity, while we continue to look for solutions that maximize spend and target the right individuals at the right moment. The shift is certainly happening, and it’s an exciting time to be in this space!

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