Digital’s Share Of Ad Investment In The Faster-Growth World To Catch Up With The Developed World

GroupM‘s Worldwide Media and Marketing Forecast predicts that in 2017, digital’s share of ad investment in the faster-growth world will catch up with the developed world, to around 33 per cent.

In 2017 it is challenging to discriminate digital marketing from all marketing. Consumers barely separate their digital and analogue lives; little media is published in only analogue form and enterprises infuse digital processes into every aspect of their organisations. The digital ink is in the water and it is permanent.

The new and old worlds have contributed an equal tonnage of new digital ad dollars since 2013. If one disregards print, which is negative, then in 2016 we think digital captured 72 cents of every new ad dollar, and TV 21 cents.

In 2017, this becomes 77 to 17. As an industry, we do not consider digital as big as traditional TV yet, with TV’s ad share largely stable at 42 per cent in 2016 and 41 per cent in 2017. It rode a five-year 44 per cent peak in 2010-2014, and some of the share it appears to have shed since then is an artefact of poor measurement. Ten countries have already seen digital overtake TV, with a further five expected in 2017 — France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Digital fuels its growth by recruiting long-tail advertisers and winning share from other media.

There is now a serious attempt to win TV’s big-brand advertising, an endeavour which will turn as much on digital’s quality as on its undoubted quantity. One cannot ignore the enduring value of television; audiences remain immense and its communication potential enormous.

Specifically, the forecasts look at the rising influence of artificial intelligence, developments in augmented and virtual reality, the competition for video advertising between television and other video providers, the impact of ‘relevance’ on the trading of media, developments in the application of data to television along with Over the Top solutions, the impact of streaming and on demand audio, the Google / Facebook duopoly, live video, ecommerce, privacy, market place integrity and fake news. From all this it draws some broad conclusions.

Descriptions of monopolies and duopolies in either advertising or ecommerce have to be tempered. It’s true that Google, Facebook and Amazon are the biggest and most powerful players in their categories but opportunity still abounds for brand builders, direct to consumer and multi-channel retailers in partnership with a broad swathe of digital and analogue inventory suppliers. This applies to all parts of the marketing funnel.

Around a decade ago, the industry was swept along by the apparently new idea of media that was paid, owned or earned. At a time of high visitation to brand/corporate web sites and then brand Facebook pages, the construct was legitimate. Two simple formulations prevailed – build a website or a YouTube channel or build social media presence. Now, of course, brand web sites are largely becalmed and the organic dividend of the Facebook ‘like’ has been diminished.

To succeed, advertisers need to understand and deploy a marketing tech stack which holds the data on the known customer and which enables the activation of that data to the greatest effect. Increased efficiency is relative and even the most ‘data poor’ advertisers have embraced programmatic delivery at scale to good effect. It is not always about the pursuit of the known effect of every impression but also about knowing that every impression has the potential to contribute to a positive business outcome.

Source:, 09 February 2017

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