New Budgets Are Mobilising Content While Programmatic Boosts Display

The big news today is that mobile, content and video are in the ascendancy for new budget priorities, and when it comes to display, 60% is now bought programmatically. In fact, three in every four new pounds brought to digital advertising in the past year have gone into mobile, and the channel now accounts for nearly three quarters of all social spend.

Of all the channels, mobile has seen the biggest growth, followed by video and content -- which have both grown by more than 50% year-on-year -- and social, which is nearly there too, growing by 45%. Display is at the end of the growth list, with a still-respectable 25% boost year-on-year. Of course, it has to be pointed out that because it's a huge channel, growth percentage will be smaller. It's still holding its own -- with 35% of the total amount pumped into digital advertising behind the old favourite, search, which remains anchored to 51% of budgets.

So, search and display have held their own and the much-anticipated dominance of programmatic display is finally there. It is far more common now for machines to buy ad space from one another than for humans to trade space directly.

Once we have had made some common-sense observations and acknowledged that search and display have held their own, it's fair to say that the vast majority of new money coming into digital advertising is going to mobile as well as video content and social. Where these meet -- native content and video on social -- has to be the fast-emerging sweet spot for new spending in digital marketing.

The reason why is pretty obvious. We're all living our lives through our mobile phones, so there has been a mismatch between attention and ad spend that new money it starting to address. At the same time, there is likely to be a growing concern among brands that display is blighted by viewbility, fraud and blocking concerns, which is prompting new money to be put into making their messages visible through other channels. Brands are clearly realising that as search continues to heat up and display confronts its issues, a mobile customer base is ripe for not just mobile display but also native content, promoted posts and videos. 

At the moment the entire pie is getting bigger -- in fact, we're seeing growth unparalleled since the global financial crisis of 2008. So the traditional stalwarts are holding their own, but there is a very clear indication that in display, the ad tech guys are winning out and it's all about data-driven campaigns bought automatically. Plus, when it comes to new money, it's finding its way to areas where advertisers can be part of the flow of content rather than screaming out from the edges. 

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