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The importance of digital advertising in 2021 and beyond

Think you can ignore digital advertising? Think again.

By 2024, worldwide digital ad spend is expected to hit $633.4bn and account for two thirds of total ad spend. Despite ad revenue taking a hit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re expected to see recovery of around 5.8% in 2021 and it’s digital that is driving this. 

So, we know that many brands will be spending more and more on digital to reach their target consumers in 2021 and beyond. The challenge many advertisers are facing is how to make sure that when digital advertising budgets are allocated, it’s worth it and they get bang for their buck. So, how can you do it well and how can you utilise digital to tackle some of the ongoing challenges of today? These are four of the biggest challenges and how digital advertising can assist. 

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding

This was the situation prior to 2020, but as is the case with many trends the pandemic has accelerated things. More people are shopping online, more and more users are becoming digital first, and brick-and-mortar locations are facing an uncertain future.

These factors have led to increasing demand from online users. Customer experience must be intuitive and consistent. Digital ads need to stand out from the crowd and most importantly the ad experience must be personalised and tailored to each user. In fact, around 72% of customers will only engage with marketing messages that are personalised and tailored to them. Personalisation, whether through retargeting, dynamic website content, or dynamic ad creative, is therefore set to have an increasingly important role to play in 2021 and beyond.

Ongoing privacy restrictions and questions around data is placing demands on advertisers 

With restrictions already in place and some set to be implemented soon, both first-party and third-party cookies will soon become a thing of the past. The big question for marketers is what this means for their established ways of working. Can they survive in a cookie-less future? How will this impact their advertising ROI? 

It is essential for advertisers to find a digital advertising strategy and solution that will survive the impending cookie apocalypse. Download our essential guide to find out how. 

Customers may not be based where they once were 

In 2021 and beyond, more and more consumers are predicted to move out of big cities and urban areas. This is likely to see a shift from national advertising campaigns to hyper-local campaigns. 

Events in the last year have shown us the power of digital marketing and the necessary digital marketing channels that have an important role to play in reaching the consumers of today. Digital advertising is a channel that needs to be in your marketing mix.

While out of home (OOH) might once have been a traditional tactic to get a mass message out in urban areas, brands will be looking for more cost-effective and agile ways to engage with users on a local level. Again digital advertising provides a key opportunity through the likes of Geotargeting and Geofencing. 

You need a granular view of your users 

One of the biggest challenges facing advertisers is understanding which consumer trends have just been driven by the pandemic and which are set to stay as we enter a post-COVID world. While it’s impossible to predict the future – especially in such uncertain times – it’s essential to build a deep picture of your users and their behaviour. Again digital advertising offers this opportunity. 

The reporting from your campaigns provides invaluable data to further enhance your ongoing strategy in the short and long-term for the best results. Instead of simply focusing on clicks and impressions utilising data around user location, device, even impact of the weather for example, enables you to dig deeper into your audience on a granular level. By securing insights from the demographics that engage with your ads, you know which audiences convert and the creatives that work time and time again. Performance comes from the detail in the data. 

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