With 2019 kicking into full gear, what better time to reflect on the past year and some of the biggest trends that were front-and-center in the advertising world? While the industry saw many changes take place, there were some that I found to be especially noteworthy. It’ll be important for advertisers to pay attention to them as they continue to shape the industry in 2019 and beyond.
Here’s a closer look at those three areas:
Brand Safety Concerns Reached a New Peak
From YouTube to Facebook, advertisers have become increasingly concerned with steering clear of offensive content. And although YouTube made a big search announcement at last year’s Advertising Week, I thought it was still marred by their issues with brand safety. In response to mistakes by media partners and technology vendors, brands are rightfully demanding changes.
Today, more ad dollars than ever are being spent to protect brands — either on services like DoubleVerify, in-housing programmatic, or on direct sales with premium publishers.
Regulation, Regulation, Regulation
Regulation is one of the hottest buttons in the industry. Last Spring, GDPR dominated conversations. Now, everyone is concerned about the US embracing equivalent legislation. This has already begun at the state level in California. For marketers, expect more regulation, not less.
Ultimately, this means that programmatic will continue to be restricted, with industries like pharma and insurance shifting spend to direct channels. And as personal data becomes less actionable, marketers will have to rely on partners and formats that deliver innovative storytelling with unique creative. Not hyper-targeted, automated inventory.
The Decline of TV
Over the past year, TV networks and service providers trotted out buzzwords about Machine Learning, marketing technology, multi-touch attribution and programmatic TV to try and highlight how they’re making linear smarter or more performance-oriented. But what has really changed over the last five years? Unfortunately, not much. TV viewing is waning as millennials and younger consumers have moved on to digital platforms. And this cord-cutting has led to the continued rise of OTT.
While there’s still much to learn about the measurement and monetization of OTT space, it’s a clear indicator that both marketers and consumers are diversifying their platforms for consuming media. And ad dollars are following. Much of the conversation over the past year was about how TV is becoming more data-driven. But it should’ve been about how linear TV has failed to move the needle for performance marketers, who’ve shifted spend to digital channels and won’t go back. Who can blame them?