By Ryan Hylton

2019 will be a significant year for the advertising industry in the US. According to a recent eMarketer’s forecast, digital advertising spend is projected to surpass traditional advertising spend for the first time. Predictions show that digital spend will increase to $129.34 billion (an increase of 19%). Zenith Media also predicts that 65% of dollars spent in 2019 on digital advertising will be through programmatic, with a forecasted growth of 19% in programmatic adspend.

Before we get into what these trends in media spend mean for advertisers, let’s start with the basics and define Programmatic Advertising. In the simplest form, programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising. This allows for a smooth and efficient process that relies on algorithms to buy and place ads to a specified targeted audience.

As attention rises on programmatic advertising and digital ad dollars are shifted towards it in 2019 and the years to come, there are many different lessons to learn and trends to follow. By partnering with WRAL Digital Solutions, we can work with you to define your target audience and then purchase inventory on a variety of websites to accomplish your goals. In addition to our owned and operated (O&O) properties, our CBC Audience Network extends our targeting capabilities off of our O&O and allows us to reach your desired audience on other websites. While there are many trends that our team is seeing, these are the top three trends that we are paying attention to in 2019:


First-Party Data

First-party data is valuable and when leveraged correctly, can make a significant difference in a campaign.  First-party data is the information that the user gives about themselves and can be acquired through means such as online form fills, social network profiles, and mobile browsing. At WRAL Digital Solutions, we implement available first-party targeting into one of the many tactics that we build into a display campaign on our CBC Audience Network. We are continuing to see performance growth in our campaigns that have this targeted tactic in the mix, which makes sense since we have a clearer understanding of who our target is by using this data. With this, we have found great success in taking specific client campaign objectives and turning them into valuable results.


In-App Inventory

In today’s day and time, there always seems to be “an app for that” and this is a significant trend for marketers to pay attention to.  Apps allow for better targeting by using first-party opt-in data (as mentioned above), location data, device IDs, and topics/categories. Capitalizing on that targeting and checking back to make sure apps are performing as expected for your goals is crucial. Having the ability to turn on and off app placements based on performance in your campaigns is a great optimization step that we take to make sure your ads perform well.


Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence

If you are running campaigns through platforms such as Google Ads yourself, you are already aware of the presence of machine learning. Google utilizes machine learning to run A/B tests of best-performing ads, creates responsive search ads with combinations of headlines and description lines, enhanced bidding strategies, etc. The point here is that machine learning is available and has proven to be very powerful for optimizing campaigns. This is no different when it comes to programmatic advertising. Machine Learning enables digital marketers to reach their desired audience with better performance and return on ad spend. It allows the marketers to get out of the weeds of minor optimizations that are reliant on personal interpretations of data and in turn, makes more efficient and quicker decisions. This allows the marketer time to focus on other aspects of their digital marketing strategy to better help them reach their desired goals and objectives.

With programmatic advertising spend predicted to be on the rise this year, it is important now more than ever for companies to incorporate a programmatic advertising strategy into their mix. When you partner with WRAL Digital Solutions, we can help you create a marketing strategy that covers our O&O, as well as other websites and apps, to help you reach your target audience and your advertising goals.

Ready to get started or have questions? Reach out to our team, we can help!


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