The 2015 digital marketing industry was dominated by native advertising, an increase in programmatic ad spending, hyper-segmentation and viewability. But as 2015 comes to a close, marketers are beginning to observe what digital marketing trends are going to arise in 2016.

Jay Friedman, chief operating officer of the programmatic ad tech firm Goodway Group, offers his predictions on what 2016 digital marketing trends are going to take hold and impact the industry:

People-based Marketing – 2016 will be the first year people-based marketing (rather than device-based or cookie-based for behaviors) really takes off. Facebook will launch their DSP and be the only player truly offering this. This is a major game changer as advertisers will have a whole new understanding of the subject matter their audience will respond to in advertisements.

Ad Blocking Leveling Out – Smart publishers will take control and start earning a fair price for their inventory. They’ll disallow ad blocking, and some will start to make 100 percent of their ad slots 100 percent viewable with infinite scroll ads. Publishers and consumers will be forced to find a happy medium between excessive ads and ad blockers so both parties benefit in the end.

Programmatic Specific Agencies – At least five major brands will select programmatic-specific agencies apart from their existing formal agency relationships in order to capitalize on advertisements. Conversely, many large regional or smaller national brands will still not be using their first-party data as of the first of the year.

ROI – Market leaders will enable clear offline ROI tracking from online spend. This will allow them to analyze their process and content in order to make their digital campaigns even more effective while getting the best bang for their buck.

ROI dislodges ‘clutter metrics’– Those who are hyper-focused on viewability, fraud, ad blocking and all the other clutter will realize, it is all important, but it’s less important than measuring actual sales impact. While it’s important to pay attention to those clutter metrics, they should guide, not direct, as ROI is the ultimate stop.

For the first time, digital ad spending will surpass traditional television ad spending in the U.S. in 2016, indicating the ever-growing power of the digital marketing industry. Consequently, marketers are already preparing for next year to ensure advertising plans are effective and achieve top-notch results.

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