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Must-Know Advertising Trends From eMarketer’s “Digital Ad Pricing StatPack” Report

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Which trends are dominating digital advertising? eMarketer explores this question in its latest report, “Digital Ad Pricing StatPack.” By compiling data and insights from 35 sources (including social advertising platforms, ad exchanges and ad networks), eMarketer outlines pricing trends for display, video and social ads served worldwide. Here’s what advertisers need to know about the current state of digital ad pricing.

Programmatic Ad Spend Grows

According to eMarketer’s estimations, a shift away from traditional means of buying display ads is fueling the growth of programmatic ad spend.

programmatic stat - emarketer digital ad spend report recap

increase over the prior year

CPMs Are On The Rise

While the aforementioned shift away from traditional means of buying display ads is fueling the growth of programmatic, eMarketer posits that CPMs will also a play a role.

Facebook CPM - emarketer digital ad spend report recapThe rise in CPM cost doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook prices are going up across the board. Instead, it shows that advertisers are wising up to the effectiveness of targeting specific audiences with high lifetime value (LTV). Advertisers who spend more to target very particular groups of high-value customers through custom and lookalike audiences know those cohorts will result in greater return on ad spend.

The introduction of custom audiences drove Facebook’s success. Custom audiences, and then lookalike audiences, are the most effective in direct response, hands down.

─Benjamin Tregoe, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Nanigans

One way advertisers can work around the rising cost of CPM is to drive ad spend towards a particular action. With optimized cost per impression (oCPM), advertisers can bid towards certain tasks that are vital to their conversion funnel, such as website form completion. This way, advertisers can ensure that they’re only paying to serve ads to people who actually convert and drive value for their business.

The Real Price Of Advertising

Another trend eMarketer notes in the report is the breakdown of how much advertisers are truly paying for ads. According to one study, on average only 40% of money spent programmatically through agencies was actually spent on publishers’ media. A staggering 60% was spent on value-added services and middleman fees, including agency trading desks, demand-side platforms, exchanges and agencies of record. In fact, eMarketer says that for a $1 CPM, 65 cents might be spent on media and services, with the remainder absorbed by fees.

Spend breakdown - emarketer digital ad spend report recap

How can you keep the majority of your ad spend where it belongs – invested in media buys? In-house advertising cuts out middleman fees in addition to providing the pricing transparency that advertising agencies usually conceal from clients. The combination of an in-house advertising team backed by powerful automation software can give your company the power to truly understand and control the cost of your ad campaigns.

eBook: The Foundation of In-House Advertising Success

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