Written by Beth Walter, Sr. Product Manager – Digital Marketing

May 19, 2021

Digital Marketing has taken a few hits as of late, but as always the medium continues to evolve. Crucially, digital marketing offers advertisers the most targeted options for finding and connecting with customers in the market for a purchase.

Let’s take a look at the most recent evolutions that resulted from changes within our industry, from scandals to new trends:

1. Fallout from the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook Scandal – Facebook removed much of the third-party targeting available on the platform after the company was implicated in sharing third-party data without users’ permission. As a result, digital marketers must now connect with these data providers directly; Facebook no longer wants anything to do with that exchange. The company has removed itself completely from the equation.

2. Display Advertising Comes Roaring Back – We are not sure for how long this display advertising resurgence will last thanks to the slow and painful death of the third-party cookie, but all of those cool audience segments and more are available to you for now if you have a DMP/DSP (Data Management Platform/Demand Side Platform). If you want to target people who own a particular make of vehicle and are actively in the market for service, display advertising can currently do that easily.

Death of Traditional TV Advertising – Everyone is ready to write off traditional television advertising due to the high waste factor. Remember, only 2% of the population is in the market for a vehicle at any given time. Dealers finally decided 98% waste was just a little too much for their budgets to handle.

3. “Connected”or “Over the Top” TV (CTV/OTT) Takes Over – We expect more than 50% of the population to use this new form of TV by the end of 2022. They use the internet all day long to search and surf the web. They now also use that same internet to watch TV via various apps such as Sling, Roku, and Hulu. As a result, we can now target customers in the market for a vehicle or service directly while they’re streaming their favorite shows. And, if your Database/DMS is big enough, you can actually upload your own first-party data and reach out to your customers via CTV/OTT. TV has evolved, and it is better than ever for the advertiser.

4. Short-Form Video Transforms Video Advertising and Pre-Roll – Despite its ability to target in-market shoppers for a particular product, pre-roll video can seem a bit intrusive. Plus, identifying results is a challenge; the industry must rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) like completion rate and views of a certain portion of the ad. Enter TikTok and its competitors: Google’s YouTube Shorts and Facebook’s Instagram spinoff, Reel. The ad options for these platforms do not seem as intrusive as those for longer-form video and, as their application programming interfaces (APIs) mature, targeting options are sure to improve. Interestingly enough, much of the targeting for these platforms will be based on either first- or zero-party’ data sharing. That is, customers will be happy to share data for content they find entertaining.

5. Google Sets Aside $100 Million to Pay Content Creators – This is a fund that will launch “in the coming months” and pay people to add content to Youtube Shorts over the course of 2021 and 2022. So get ready for some serious video wars that will heighten the excitement of this new channel, while giving you more opportunities to get your products in front of potential customers.

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