The Digital Adspend report recorded a 15% year-on-year increase for digital advertising spend to £6.36bn. Of which, search advertising amounted to £3.3bn, more than half (52%).
The latest report from the IAB UK and PWC (pdf) has found that search accounted for half of all digital adspend in the first half of 2018.
While this midway report is only a lighter version of IAB’s end-of-year drill down, these trends are indicative of what we can expect to see over the full-course of 2018.
“With mobile devices accounting for 75% of all UK adults’ time online, it is safe to assume smartphone penetration continues to contribute towards the 15% year-on-year growth in digital adspend reported today,” says IAB UK Chief Digital Officer, Tim Elkington.
IAB’s findings are consistent with those across recent industry reports across the globe.
According to industry forecaster Zenith, one third of all global adspend growth will be driven by paid search and social media spend within the next two years.
Annual global adspend is on track to hit $581bn (£442bn) by the end of 2018, while Zenith raised its predictions for global adspend growth to 4.5% until 2020, 67% of which will come from investments in paid search and social media ads.
The report credited the shifting spend to ad technology that is streamlining the process of creating, targeting, optimising and measuring ads on their platforms.
In July this year Google, who still dominates the search advertising market, released a suite of machine learning powered ad tools. These new tools include new responsive search ads that optimise creative in real-time to show the best-performing ad for each search query.
Online advertising is almost 25 years old, but a study conducted earlier this year by B2BMarketing.Net found many B2B marketers are just now taking their first steps in the digital advertising world.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of marketers reported it’s either difficult or very difficult to target B2B audiences online. The rise of personalised strategies such as Account Based Marketing (ABM) make mass reach campaigns with limited targeting impractical.
However, the report suggests that the struggle to find their audiences could come down to B2B marketers’ level of immaturity in the digital advertising industry.
This falls in contrast to B2B digital adspend, which eMarketer estimated will total $4.6 billion this year, up 13% from 2017.
eMarketer believes this increase in spend has a lot to do with data and the tools and technologies powering it. “The most sophisticated B2Bs are focused on data collection and analysis, which enables more effective reach and audience targeting,” they wrote.
“Machine learning, account-based advertising techniques and programmatic buying present B2B advertisers with opportunities, but they can also be difficult to use.”
There’s some good news for the B2B marketers ready to embrace search advertising, specifically on Google.
B2B advertisers from Marin’s advertising index have enjoyed strong growth in click volume on Google in the US. In Q1 2018, the number of clicks grew by 17.5% year-over-year, as click-through rates increased by almost 65%, to an average of 2.27%. With the average CPC dropping to $1.75 from $1.81 the year before.
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