It’s finally about to happen. The amount spent on digital advertising will surpass that of traditional media outlets, such as television and print, in 2019, with a lot of those ad dollars being spent on two major platforms: Google and Facebook. Some might even say it’s a Google and Facebook world, and we just live in it.
What has changed in the past four years?
In 2015, digital ad spends represented half of what was being spent on traditional media. The popularity of major social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram have aided in this growth. Social channels offer up a level of targeting that could only have been dreamed about by ad professionals 20 years ago. Combine that with the fact most consumers have stated that they’re OK with ads, especially if they are personalized to them, only makes these outlets even more valuable for reach and action.
Google also has evolved rapidly in the past four years. It is much less a generic search engine and a more robust answer engine. We’re programmed to go to Google and seek answers to our problems, locate whatever it is that we want — all in real-time. And because of that, Google dominates search marketing. In the United States, that is around 89% of the market and in the U.K. it is more like 92%. But the search engine also has forced many brands to be better in the online space by improving their mobile experiences, overall user experience and web performance. While all these factors certainly can impact SEO, it’s a testament to the fact that Google wants to provide better results and a better experience for those who use the platform.
Third wheel of digital advertising
With Google and Facebook dominating market shares in their respective spaces, it’s best to not lose sight of the third wheel in the digital space, Amazon. We’re all familiar with the massive online retailer that fuels our need of on-demand shopping, but few realize the actual reach the platform has. From a commerce perspective, Amazon does almost 15 times the number of transactions that its nearest competitor, Walmart, does.
Amazon is now the third-largest advertising platform behind Google and Facebook and they are going toe to toe with one another on driving traffic and commerce via their own platforms. While we can say Amazon is still maturing as an advertising platform, for those companies selling their wares through or competing with Amazon, your options for advertising are growing.
Sponsored brands, product display ads, and sponsored product ads are current forms of ad units available on Amazon. Let’s not forget the amount of data that Amazon has on its customers, which translates into better audience targeting for your brand. Similar to lookalike audiences on Facebook and Google, if your customers are buying a particular product of “like” features, odds are there are more of them out there for you to get in front of.
Data is supreme
No other words carry more importance in the digital marketing world than “customer data.” All of the unique and in-depth targeting options would not be available to marketers without user data. The data available to marketers now allows for much more robust campaigns that are hyper-targeted and personalized for your audience. Translation: Less ad dollars wasted on people you don’t care to have your brand in front of.
For those selling through Amazon, just know the retailer is not keen on giving up the digital data it has on your customer, unless you want to continue to use their services and promote from within their platform.
As we move through 2019 and beyond, the information and data you have on your customers is key, and this cannot be stressed enough for both B2B and B2C companies. Once an individual is in your system, the level of customized targeting options becomes close to endless. These are hyper-targeted campaigns that are personalized and relatable to your audience and their needs.
Platforms will grow just as algorithms change. The goal is to not be frustrated with these changes, but embrace the opportunities they provide to better connect with your customers.