Latest Trends in Digital Display Advertising


Exploring the Latest Trends in Digital Display Advertising

We frequently update the latest trends in digital display advertising here in our Local Marketing Blog.  And let’s get started with the 3 biggest trends we see impacting the future trajectory of digital display advertising:

  1. Greater Emphasis on Consumer Privacy.  Whether real or perceived, consumers believe they are gaining privacy, and the expectation is that this trend will continue.
  2. The Move Away from 3rd-Party CookiesGoogle has updated its plan to end support for 3rd-party cookies in the Chrome browser by 2024.  Despite many delays, we don’t expect the finish line to move much further down the road.
  3. Big Breakthroughs in Contextual Targeting.  At this point, contextual targeting seems like one of the prime replacements for 3rd-party cookies.

We could also talk a lot about how first-party data is gaining in importance, and surely deserves honorable mention on this list.

Example #1: Contextual Targeting is Working Well

As professional marketers have begun exploring alternatives to third-party cookies for targeting, contextual factors have shown a lot of promise.

Being able to place digital display advertising based on factors like:

  • Keywords and Key Phrases in the Content of the Page
  • Alt Tags in Photos and Graphics
  • The Type of Publisher (News, Sports, Weather, Lifestyle, etc.)
  • The Location of the Publisher/Reader
  • Weather Conditions in that Location
  • Proximity to the Point of Purchase

Contextual targeting opens up a world of possibilities, and in some cases has already proven to be even more effective than third-party data for campaign success.

We detail our own findings more in this recent article.

Example #2: Third-Party Data Still Has it’s Place

Don’t confuse third-party cookies and lump all third-party data together in the “cookieless future.”

As professional marketers consider the latest trends in digital display advertising, third-party data still has an important role to play in targeting.  In fact, it fits well within the privacy-first trend — if you commit to being a good actor with the information.

Apple and Google are not protecting the privacy of consumers so much as they are protecting their exclusivity of consumers’ data.  While they give consumers perceived control over third parties, they are quick to maintain the right to use consumer data for their own purposes.  That effectively just makes them the arbiters of consumer data, rather than a host of third parties.

Whether this is good or bad for consumers remains to be seen.  But it’s certainly going to be fantastic for Apple and Google in the short term.

Fact is, a world of third-party data is available to us as we consider how to best target your prospective new customers for marketing purposes.  But we must be good actors with that information.

If we are, then consumers will perceive your advertising as helpful discovery of something they need or want anyway.  “Spam” is only spam if it’s irrelevant and/or intrusive.  When consumers discover something they really want or need, they feel differently about the marketing message.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re struggling with digital display advertising, or maybe what you’ve been doing isn’t working as well as it used to?  Schedule a free consultation with our experts.

One of the core tenants of our business is leading with education.  We invest in our clients long before they invest in us.  So let’s talk about the latest trends in digital display advertising or whatever is driving you nuts about your marketing right now.

Not ready for that step?  Sign up for our free local marketing e-mail newsletter and keep seeing more articles just like this one.

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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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