In October 2020, we surveyed 1,440 marketers to discover what’s trending in digital advertising.
At the end of the survey, we asked an open-ended question: “What’s the next big thing in digital advertising?”
After marketers shared their two cents, we used a keyword density tool to surface the most popular responses.
Here’s what we found.
Online video: A valuable advertising opportunity
Video came in first with 114 mentions.
The rise of online video has been well-documented in recent years. Consumers not only prefer online video to television, according to Google and comScore, but also prefer YouTube to Facebook, according to Pew Research. Moreover, Zenith forecasts that people will spend an average of 100 minutes per day, or 12 hours per week, watching videos online in 2021—up from 67 minutes a day in 2018.
Throughout history, any medium that kept an audience’s attention meant a valuable advertising opportunity. Online video is no exception. Indeed, 84% of consumers say watching a brand video has inspired them to make a purchase, according to Wyzowl. The company also found that the vast majority of marketers saw a decent return on their investment in online video.
Personalization: The path to advertising nirvana
Personalization came in second with 113 mentions.
Personalization has long been touted as the key to achieving advertising nirvana. Backing up this claim, Google found that in nine out of 10 cases, personalization delivers profits. In fact, early adopters have seen up to 15% more revenue, according to McKinsey. It’s no doubt why: Consumers respond to timely and relevant offers, something that’s only achievable through advanced personalization.
But, despite the clear advantages of personalizing your ad journeys, it isn’t easy to pull off. Three in four marketers “struggle to scale their personalization efforts,” and 65% find the process overwhelming, according to Gartner. The most significant challenge, according to multiple studies, is a lack of internal resources. To effectively personalize your messaging at scale, you need the right data, the right talent, and the right tools.
Artificial intelligence: The technology that helps you scale
Artificial intelligence came in third with 80 mentions.
As we’ve seen, personalization and optimization are key to delivering higher conversion rates and return on ad spend, yet both are very labor-intensive. Fortunately, artificial intelligence has a wide assortment of capabilities, including automatic ad and landing page creation, better targeting, content personalization, and performance optimization. AI is thus the only logical way forward.
With eight in 10 early adopters reporting a positive return on investment, according to Deloitte, it’s no wonder advertisers are champing at the bit. After all, those who invest in technologies that leverage AI will have a clear competitive advantage over those who don’t, as they will require fewer resources to achieve superior performance.
Get more insights from 1,440 marketers
Now more than ever before, it’s vital that you stay ahead of the curve. The years following the pandemic will not only bring increased competition but also new trends in consumer behavior, technological advances, and regulatory changes. To excel at digital advertising, you will need to remain agile and adapt quickly to anything that comes your way.
Fortunately, you can see what’s on the horizon. In our 2021 Digital Advertising Trends Report, we share actionable insights from 1,440 marketers across North America.
Download the report to discover:
- What’s trending in digital advertising
- What marketers plan to prioritize in 2021
- Where marketers plan to invest in 2021
- Which digital advertising platforms are paying off
- What top-performing marketers do differently
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