Content Digital Advertising

Digital Ad Spend Eclipsing Traditional Ad Spend in 2019

Written by
on 28 Aug 2023

It’s been said for years, that digital advertising would overtake traditional media. But, until now, we’ve never seen it. This is not to say that traditional advertising and media spend is dead. However, this steady rise of digital ad spend eclipsing traditional media and advertising, is a clear sign of the times.

2019 is set to be a record-breaking year for digital marketing and advertising, according to eMarketer. This is because, for the first time in history, we’re looking down the barrel of digital ad spend eclipsing traditional media and advertising. This means that every web banner ad, Google, Amazon and social ad, boosted post, and every bit of sponsored content has overtaken that of the TV and radio spots, print ads and OOH placements.

It is important to recognise that this shift in the market has taken place in the US. Representing one of the largest markets in the world in terms of ad spend annually.

What about Australia?

Given that Australia generally follows suit from America in many ways, it’s fair to say that we can expect similar results down under. So the fact that over 50% of ad spend is being channeled into the digital sphere, certainly indicates not only a shift in the market, but a reliable forecast going forward.

On top of this, this data comes at a time where adults are spending more time on their digital devices. Particularly in comparison to time spent on traditional media. This year, time spent on mobile devices has overtaken all traditional media, including television which put up the biggest fight. We understand this because television has long been the medium of choice for many consumers in America and Canada. As seen in these reports from the US and Canada.

The digital ad market in the US has been growing steadily for many years. So this should not come as too much of a shock. Particularly for those who have been using digital media for years and understand it’s value. Yet, due to the behemoths Facebook and Google, the scales have tipped.

(READ: The Customer Value Journey Roadmap)

People are still consuming television at a strong rate of 3 hours and 35 minutes in the US; compare this with mobile usage at 3 hours and 43 minutes, we can see why we’re seeing the ad spend change from predominantly traditional, to digital.

This could be due to the overwhelming amount of content that is being produced in the digital sphere. An example of this was given by the eMarketer Senior Forecasting Director Monica Peart, stating that there is more content is being produced for reactive devices such as mobile and tablets than ever before.

A key take away of this could be that, although we spend more time on our phones than ever before, we’re using it to consume content in different ways. From being active on social media channels, Google and streaming services, we’re finding television less and less necessary in our marketing mix.

Despite this, television is still ok in the minds of consumers. Overall, the big loser in this data was print media. Namely, newspapers and magazines. It was estimated by eMarketer that print media will decline by 18% next year. With directories such as the Yellow Pages, having it even worse.

Graph showing how digital ad spend is eclipsing traditional ad spend in 2019

But what does this mean for your business?

Well, in a nutshell, it essentially means that your content and digital organic search strategies will be more important than ever. And that you’ll need to dedicate more effort to try and harness the power of digital in your business.

From your social presence to your organic search and everything in between. Including your blog, your onsite and offsite SEO optimisation., video content, collaborative efforts, digital advertising, use of your email lists and newsletters and the rest. Your digital and content strategy needs to be able to compete and be consistent across all media.

A strong strategy has always been essential, however, now more than ever. Integrating content and digital strategies into your marketing mix will only become more important as time progresses.

But there are ways that you can do this. Even if you don’t have much content currently, you can start small and work yours to a more holistic marketing and content mix. Begin by creating a blog and a few social media pages. Publish as often as possible and collect data. Everything from analytics to email addresses.

Often, small business owners state that they can’t do this because they’re time-poor, lacking funds to execute or a combination of the two. Well, the good news is, we’ve already covered this in a previous blog post. Check out our blog 50% of Small Businesses Lack a Marketing Strategy: How to Be in the Best 50%. Here, there are tips for small and medium-sized businesses to maximize their content.

Take action

Going digital is something every brand and business need to do. Particularly, if they want to thrive. So creating a robust digital strategy is a must. Still, despite the digital ad spend rising as a whole, don’t think that you need to spend big to compete. With an effective strategy, even small businesses can take on the big guys.

If you have any questions about your digital and content strategy, please do not be afraid to contact us. We’re always happy to discuss strategy, no strings attached!

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