Estimating digital spend is always incredibly tough. It’s hard from an agencies point of view as your vision can be clouded by your own client portfolio and their spend profiles which can vary dramatically from the market as a whole. That being said looking at all of the major spend trackers and our own knowledge of the market we expect double digit growth to continue in online. 2012-2013 saw 23-25% growth in online (Sources: CEASA and SMI). Despite it being a World Cup year (which effect in Australia will be limited by the expectations for the Socceroos success) we estimate growth to slow slightly to nearer 15-20%.
Outside of Search, which is consistently growing at the mid 20% mark year after year, the four areas that will see the most growth are social, video, mobile and trading desks (the latter being the key facilitator for growth in the previous 3 areas).
Social is still dominated by Facebook but expect twitter to start taking more budget as they become more established in the market. The massive proliferation of technology platforms (PMD’s) that plug into Facebook and better enable advertisers and agencies to run smarter more efficient and targeted campaigns will continue to inflate the spend in this area.
Video is continuing to grow as clients are trying to increase cost effective incremental reach online to supplement their TV advertising (but bear in mind this growth could be somewhat hampered by the dearth of quality online video inventory).
The year of the mobile still has not really come to fruition as clear advertising formats and measurement have not truly been defined. That being said with publishers taking much more of a platform agnostic approach and audiences spending more time with the channel, revenues will grow in 2014.
Trading desks will underpin a lot of this growth. It will be the technology platform to not only grow spend in these areas but also reduce cost, increase efficiency and help unify cross digital media measurement. These platforms will continuing to thrive and act as the catalyst for digital growth as agencies and advertisers are beginning to become more savvy and comfortable with them and realise that the future of digital is harnessing data and technology to better target consumers.