Trend Recap: 2019 Half Year Report on Digital Ad Spending

by | Nov 5, 2019 | Insights

H1 2019 Trend Recap Feature Image
Digital advertising in 2019 started out with a bang! The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently published its 2019 half-year report on internet ad revenue, reporting the strongest opening six months in digital advertising’s history.

So, what do their findings mean for  your business? How will they influence your media strategy and suggested media mix? Are you poised to have timely conversations with clients and stakeholders? 

If you don’t have time to go deep on the full report, we’ve summarized the trends from the first half of the year and digested them for you.

Here are our recommendations and proof points on how to employ them now, as well as ways to stay on the leading edge of the trends.   

Video Spend Increase: 36 Percent
 

Trend #1: Video advertising spend up 36% year-over-year.

 

Video advertising was cited in the report as a major contributor to growth. This includes the expansion of advanced TV and connected TV (CTV), social video stories, and other forms of non-traditional video content. 

 

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Newbie Note
Advanced TV is an umbrella term for TV that is not delivered in traditional formats, namely connected TV and full episode player (FEP).

 

Why Advanced TV is trending today:

 

  • Data-driven targeting: Reach your most valuable audiences by applying first- and third-party data.
  • Better measurement: Track the impact of CTV campaigns (with digital and traditional metrics) faster, pivoting in real-time if needed.
  • Smarter retargeting: Re-engage viewers within households across multiple devices with complementary ads on other channels such as display.
  • Premium inventory: Run your ads alongside popular TV shows, movies, live sports and events – in front of a fully invested audience.

 

How to stay in front of the trend:

Shift your linear TV budgets into ATV buys.

 

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LumenAd Proof Point
LumenAd helped a national pizza franchise increase sales in well-established markets by shifting linear TV budgets to Connected TV and long-form full episode player placements.

Why? Nearly 50% of adults ages 18-49 reported using an online streaming service as their primary source to consume television (Q317 Pew Research survey) and 90% of adults simultaneously use a cell phone while consuming linear TV (July 2017 Statista poll). ]

The results? Sales increased 6% within the first 14 days of the media schedule and by month end, sales were up more than 9%.

Mobile Spend Increase: 29 Percent

Trend #2: Mobile advertising spend up 29% year-over-year.

 

Mobile advertising is showing no signs of slowing down, reaching $40 billion for the first half of 2019. Advertisers are seeing the benefit of meeting audiences where they are.

 

Why mobile continues on its growth trajectory:

 

  • Advertising environment: Mobile is a ubiquitous way to experience ads across channels.
  • Audience behavior: Advertisers can get a more complete picture of audience behavior by studying mobile ad interactions such as time spent on site and conversion rate.
  • Broad targeting strategies: Mobile delivers broad targeting strategies. From ad environments and app categories to audience and location targeting, mobile targeting can get laser focused.  
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LumenAd Proof Point
At LumenAd, we don’t view mobile as a channel or a subset of an overall budget. We look at it as advertising environment that works for many channels. 

We recently helped a national shoe brand drive consumers to retail locations. We recommended a mobile-only strategy for two reasons: 

1) Google Analytics data showed that most users were visiting the website on mobile devices, and 

2) We were using location attribution technology to measure footfall attribution. 

A tactical shift in approach helped target in-market users and accurately measure in-store visits, proving return on ad spend. A lift study was conducted during the campaign to measure the impact the ads had on driving foot traffic to the stores. 

Our approach resulted in a 144% lift vs. control group, showing the ads and overall strategy were extremely effective. 

How to stay in front of the trend:

Go one level deeper. Not only can you serve ads to mobile users, but you can reach people with the right message, at the right time in the right place.

How? Tap into quality location – or mobile geo targeting – targeting.

A BIA/Kelsey study forecasts location-targeted mobile ad spend will increase to $38.7 billion in 2022. As you look to harness the power of location data, keep in mind that quality is key.

Not sure where to start? Ask these questions to ensure you’re making high-quality investments.

Audio Spend Increase: 30 Percent

Trend #3: Audio advertising spend up 30% year-over-year. 

 

Audio advertising inventory is on the rise due to the adoption voice-activated technologies.

So how do you best leverage this channel? Buy your audio inventory programmatically vs. buying direct.

Programmatic audio allows you to:

  • Specific: Get more specific with age, gender, location and musical-taste targeting.
  • Targeted: Layer third-party data to get hyper focused.
  • Agile: Evaluate performance early and often, pivoting if necessary.
  • Flexible: Avoid committing to a lengthy and expensive contract. 

 

How to stay in front of the trend: 

For many, programmatic audio is a new frontier. When developing your omni-channel lineup, shift your thinking about audio ads from a “nice to have” to a “need to have.” 

Need some proof points to justify allocating more media dollars to this channel? These compelling facts may help:

 

  • When part of a broader media mix, the power of audio is becoming apparent. A study by The Trade Desk and Spotify reported that programmatic audio outperformed a direct audio buy in a head-to-head test, achieving a 32% efficiency in CPC and 1.51x higher CTR compared to direct audio buy.
  • Programmatic audio is a highly transparent environment, and premium sellers such as Pandora and Spotify ensure a good user experience.
  • Advertisers enjoy a 100% share of voice in a one-to-one setting, particularly on mobile devices. 

 

Rich Media Spend Increase: 20 Percent

Trend #4: Rich Media ad spend up 20% year-over-year. 

 

Rich media ads can be powerful if used strategically. As more and more ad dollars are devoted to mobile, content is becoming less static and more dynamic and interactive.  

Consumers today have a staggering amount of options to choose from when making a purchase. 

Successfully positioning your brand can set it apart from the masses and help you better reach that desired customer. 

 

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Newbie Note
Rich media ads are display ads that use HTML5 technology to include advanced features such as images, animation, video and audio that encourage user interaction including clicks, taps, hovers and ad expansion (giving brands a larger canvas for messaging).

 

Here are some strategic ways to use this type of advertising now:

  • Storytelling: Tell a colorful story about your brand, or convey a brand experience.
  • Engage: Deliver high-quality and engaging digital marketing experiences to create connection and conversation with your target audience.
  • Move users down the funnel: With advanced features such as taps, hovers and ad expansion you can begin to collect a broader pool of user interactions for retargeting or remarketing. 

 

How to stay in front of the trend:

 

New and emerging technology expands rich media advertising capabilities. On the forefront are:

  • Augmented reality: From facial recognition to virtual experiences, augmented reality puts the consumer inside the experience.  
  • Voice-enabled and conversational AI: Engage your audience in real-time, two-way conversation and allow them to use their voice to interact with the ad. 

 

  • Visual search technology: Ads that recommend products based on a photo of an item for which your audience is shopping. 

IAB’s most recent report confirms that the digital advertising industry remains one of the strongest and most dynamic sectors of the U.S. economy.

The report sites that “the digital advertising industry is still far outpacing all other ad supported mediums.”

However, as social media matures and smartphone ownership nears saturation, it’s important to keep an eye toward future opportunities that new channels present.

Need help staying on the leading edge? That’s our bread and butter. Reach out.  

 

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