Digital advertising trends in 2013: The year of big data and micro-targeting


Real time bidding platforms soar as advertisers finally utilise big data for micro targeting

Major retailers eBay and Amazon are becoming powerful ad networks using their vast amounts of user data harvested from their customer's buying habits

Marketing giants WPP and newly formed Publicis Omnicom Group put the squeeze on smaller agencies, while major brands ramp up spend on digital


Sleeping ad giants awaken?

With a staggering 90% of the world's data created in the last 2 years alone, ‘Big Data’ really took off in 2013, coupled with a huge increase in real-time bidding platforms as brands latched onto targeting consumers en-massse using ever sophisticated technology.

Major players Google, Facebook Yahoo and Microsoft saw increased completion from ‘sleeping giant’ retailers Amazon and eBay, which both ramping up their ad targeting capabilities this year- using a raft of consumer buying data to help them appeal to marketers.

This year saw further consolidation a month marketing giants, with the Omnicon Publicis merger eclipsing WPP in size, putting more pressure on medium-sized and boutique agencies. This year we also covered the biggest trends in digital advertising, indicating that measurement, transparency and ROI remain major issues in the fast growing industry.

EBay begins targeting ads based on user browsing habits

April 2014


EBay has begun sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers, as the online marketplace looks to rival Amazon, Facebook on Google in the lucrative practice of behaviourally targeted ads. The company's program will work in a manner similar to Amazon's retargeting program. For example eBay users searching for cameras will now see ads displayedon the site that are related to photography, such as camera retailer websites or photography courses.

Amazon ramps up targeting as ad revenue ‘overtakes Twitter’

June 2013


Is a sleeping giant awakening in the online ad industry? Amazon’s ad sales remain a tiny portion of its overall revenues, but this looks set to change, with the retailer announcing ambitions to ramp up targeting and bring in $800m in ad revenue this year, overtaking Twitter in the process. Amazon is often considered a ‘sleeping giant’ in the ad industry, due to its rich consumer data but relatively small advertising efforts. Now, the ecommerce giant is aiming to utilise its vast amount of consumer data to tailor messages to individuals.

Rise of ad-funded apps: 90% of downloaded Apple apps are now free

July 2013


Just 10% of all apps downloaded on Apple’s iOS are paid-for, as free ad-funded apps rose 6% in the past year, according to new research. The study, from app analytics provider Flurry, looked at app price changes over time. Results indicated that between 80 to 84 percent of iOS apps were free between 2010 and 2012, but by 2013, 90 percent of iOS apps in its network were now free. Free apps still generate money via ads, in-app purchases or promoting users to upgrade to higher-spec or ad-free paid versions.

Bigger than WPP: Omnicom and Publicis merge to take on Google in digital ad battle


July 2013

France's Publicis and America's Omnicom have merged to create a marketing company bigger than WPP, vowing to take on Google in the battle for online ad revenues. The deal between the French and US multinational will be worth nearly $23bn in revenues, beating previous sector leader WPP's $10.4bn. Omnicom chief executive John Wren and Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy will become joint CEOs of the new company, now known as the Publicis Omnicom Group. Each firm's shareholders will hold about 50% of the new firm, which will be listed in Paris and New York and will employ more than 130,000 people.

P&G shifts 35% of US ad budget to digital

August 2013


Procter & Gamble's digital spend makes up 35% of its ad budget in the US, as the FMCG giant looks to maximise the return on its marking investment. The move comes as new research indicates that Americans will spend more time online this year than watching TV. P&G company executives say digital media in many cases is proving to be a faster and cheaper way for P&G's brands to reach consumers, and feedback is also faster.

Martin Sorrell: WPP to generate 40% of business from digital over 5 years

August 2013


Marketing giant WPP is aiming to generate 5-40% of its business from digital sources and fast-growth markets, chief executive Martin Sorrell has announced. The move comes weeks after the merger of rivals Omnicom and Publicis, which will overtake WPP as the world's biggest ad group. WPP is second to Publicis in terms of digital revenues (30% compared with 33%). However, the two will switch places as the less digitally nimble Omnicom drags the merged entity down to 24%. In a signal to clients that WPP is moving forward, Sorrell declared that the targets were being raised "to at least 40-45% each over the next five years".

Programmatic video ads to grow tenfold by 2015

September 2013

UK’s video programmatic market is valued at €20.5m for 2012 and predicted to rise to €224.5m by 2017, according to new research. The study, from video ad marketplace SpotXchange, looks into the adoption of programmatic video advertising across the five biggest advertising markets in Europe (UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy). IHS, the research partner of the IAB Europe, conducted the study and has found that the European programmatic video market will grow an average 77.1 per cent a year from 2012 to 2017, reaching €626.5m across Europe’s ‘Big Five’ markets.

Major ad group pulls out of 'Do Not Track' talks

September 2013


The Digital Advertising Alliance has pulled out of an international working group looking to determine a global online privacy standard, as the ‘Do Not Track’ cookie monitoring debate rumbles on. The DAA is an industry group representing the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Direct Marketing Association, and others. The group cited a ‘lack of progress’ in more than two years of negotiations as its reason for leaving. The DAA put forth a set of proposed rules in July that was roundly rejected by browsers and privacy advocates.

The rise of sponsored content: ‘Native ads’ to overtake traditional ads in 12 years

October 2013


Native advertising will become the most preferred form of advertising by 2025, taking the form of sponsored content across all media platforms, according to a new study by AOL UK. AOL UK’s “The Native Age” study combines a range of consumer and industry insights and opinions to define a new era of native advertising. The study reveals a new breed of consumers, Generation N: a fast-moving, tech-savvy, multi-screening generation, who are increasingly attracted by the engaging, useful and entertaining content emerging through native advertising.

Advertisers ‘lack transparency needed to prove digital ROI’

November 2013

It was a big challenge in 2003 - and it's still a big challenge today. Across Europe, marketing directors feel unable to measure the return on investment from their digital marketing spend. Many client marketers complain of little insight from their agencies. Digital channels may be working hard, but most companies don't know which ones, and why. The data, from digital marketing technology company AudienceScience, indicates that 50% of European advertisers also expect to invest more in digital over the next 18 months, results also demonstrate that marketers have a clear desire for greater transparency across all media buys if they want to reduce waste and improve effectiveness.





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