Marketers urged to merge social and online display ad teams in 2016

With 2016 almost upon us, marketers have been urged to move towards a ‘channel agnostic’ display strategy and merge their social and display advertising teams to improve consistency.

According to a report by Forrester, European online display advertising revenue will grow at 12.1% annually between 2015 and 2020, and will reach €17.7 billion by 2020 — more than double 2014 levels. The UK and Germany alone will represent almost 50% of this growth.

And Forrester advises: “Social ads are display ads more than they are ‘social’ but only 27% of media teams are in charge of social ad budgets, compared with 54% of social teams.

“To move toward a channel-led agnostic display strategy, social advertising should be the remit of media teams to ensure consistency in audience buying and take advantage of opportunities for cross-channel optimisation.”

The report also claims that social media ad spend will grow 20% annually between 2015 and 2020, reaching €10.9 billion by the end of that period.

Why programmatic and video are not ‘mass mediums’ yet

In particular, Forrester claims programmatic adoption will ‘skyrocket’ within Europe, with the share of online display ads that are traded programmatically jumping 37.5% in 2015 to 61% in 2020. And by the end of 2020, over half of video advertising revenue will be sold and executed programmatically.

Yet despite the rise of programmatic and, in particular, video advertising, Forrester has advised marketers to not look at either as “mass mediums” just yet.

“Don’t think of online video ads as a mass medium, yet, as to make the most of online video advertising, marketers need to first give up on 30-second TV spots and that takes time.

“Instead, they should take a cue from advertisers who use audience insights to increase relevancy when using Facebook video ads.”

Improving mobile to counter ad blocking

European marketers’ investments in online display and social media advertising will hit €28.7bn by 2020, according to Forrester. This shift will be led by video, with the report suggesting that 41% of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK spend more than 5 hours a week watching TV and video online – compared to 49% who spend the same amount of time watching TV and Video on a conventional TV set.

Smartphone and tablet together will account for 64% of online display advertising spend by 2020, with the former experiencing the strongest growth reaching €6.5 billion in 2020, up from €1.4 billion in 2015.

And to capitalise on this shift, Forrester says a focus on ad blocking is crucial.

“Brands must improve their mobile ad experience to counter ad blocking. Ad blocking will force advertisers and publishers to develop better ads. Repurposed desktop ads and intrusive advertising that burns through consumers’ data plans and interrupt their mobile browsing experience are driving them to adopt ad blockers,” the report reads.

“Certain ad blockers agree to white list advertisers against a fee and provided their mobile ads comply with certain “acceptable ad” criteria. Marketers should say goodbye to the traditional mobile banner ad attack, and focus on improving how their ads affect consumers’ mobile experiences.”

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