How digital media is delivered and received by consumers will continue to evolve in 2019. Privacy will be an even bigger issue for audiences; more publicity around Facebook and Google about how individuals are targeted, how their information is shared (and sold), and how they believe they are being manipulated will continue to take a toll on their online behavior. Amazon’s entrance to the digital media market will only compound these concerns.
To give a little bit of context, according to eMarketer, more than $46 billion will be spent on programmatic advertising in the United States by the end of 2018, an increase exceeding 33 percent – or about $10 billion more than last year. More than four-out-of-five digital display ads in this country will be bought via automated channels.
However, issues of consumer privacy are changing online behavior, as individuals move away from banner ads that follow them from site-to-site. Already, we have seen click-through rates from banner ads plummet. We expect consumers in 2019 not only to shy away even further from banner ads but also to enlist ad blockers to keep them out altogether. As a result, marketing campaigns will move to other more strategic platforms, and especially to LinkedIn for its content and influencer marketing programs.
This will be mostly fine with many brands, as transparency into the media-purchasing process becomes more of an issue. It is almost impossible with digital ads to verify how many dollars in media spend are going to ad inventory versus overhead. This is new to digital media, as print and broadcast ads can be seen and evaluated. In addition, the negative publicity about brands whose ads show up on controversial websites will also drive marketers to other digital media approaches.
According to eMarketer, of the nearly $19 billion in additional ad dollars that will be spent on programmatic display between 2018 and 2020, most will be targeted to private setups such as private marketplaces (PMPs) and programmatic direct transactions. Platforms such as LinkedIn may be more expensive than online display, but that price comes with the confidence that it is being spent on the right audiences who aren’t blocking them.