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The 3 Most Popular Digital Marketing Tactics, According to 900+ Marketers

We wanted to find out where marketers were actually spending their money. So we surveyed 900+ people around the globe and asked what ad tactics made up the biggest piece of their marketing pie.

So many channels, so little time. And money.

Courtesy of Criteo

Instagram, email, TV, a news website, the mailbox – your customers could be shopping anywhere. From catalogs to Snapchat, we've seen an unprecedented growth in marketing channels.

That's why, at Criteo, we wanted to find out where marketers were actually spending their money. So we surveyed 900+ people around the globe and asked what ad tactics made up the biggest piece of their marketing pie.

Here's what our "State of Ad Tech Report 2019" revealed:

Paid Display is the Big Winner

Around the world, we found that the largest chunk of marketing budget is dedicated to paid display and retargeting. Making up 16% of overall ad spend, paid display represents banner ads and retargeting alike.

It's a versatile tactic that easily reminds consumers about products they might have missed or products they may like. Paid display and retargeting ads can reach across web, mobile web, and apps – which may explain its popularity.

With advances in artificial intelligence, retargeting technology can be used for a lot more than reminding consumers about abandoned shopping carts or forms that still need to be filled out. Ads can support a customer's journey across the full funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Here's how:

- Awareness

Retargeting technology that targets audiences that have similar purchasing and browsing habits can help reach a completely new audience. These usually take the form of banners on websites. When websites get millions of views, these placements can be highly effective in building awareness and influencing purchase intent. These can be cost-per-click campaigns or impression campaigns focused on reach.

- Consideration

Maybe someone visited your website but ended up leaving. That means they're aware of the brand, but haven't committed to buying. Ads that build consideration usually offer unique offers and content to drive traffic back to the site.

- Conversion

Ads with special deals and limited time offers are the ones focused solely on conversion. This is when you would take placements out with the sole goal of reaching your most likely buyers.

Real-World Example:

Sephora used a combination of awareness, retargeting, and re-engagement ads to target shoppers at each stage of the journey. This full-funnel approach rewarded them with 725% ROI.

Social Media

With more than 2 billion users on Facebook alone, it should be no surprise that marketers said that the second most popular category for ad spend was social media.

Social media marketing came very close behind to paid display, comprising 14% of global marketers' budgets.

That said, there are some dominant players. Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram dominates worldwide social network ad ecosystem, with a total of 67% revenue share, according to AdAge.

Pinterest is also a popular network for retail and ecommerce businesses, especially those that target women, as it has a predominantly female user base.

Top Tactics:

  • Retargeting
  • Video Ads
  • Instagram Stories

Real-World Example:

This Allbirds Facebook video ad is simple but arresting. The benefit is clear immediately, and the combination of the customer quote, free shipping/free returns, and a clear "Shop Now" CTA make this a winner.

Traditional Marketing

The Landscape:

The marketers in our survey told us that 13% of their budget still goes to traditional media (print, direct mail, TV, radio). Though ad spending on digital is set to surpass traditional media in 2019, many still see it as a necessary component to branding.

According to a breakdown of the share of global ad spend by media, TV gets the lion's share of the dollars, with the rest fairly evenly split across newspapers, magazines, and radio. Spend has been steadily declining for traditional media over the years, particularly for print, as ad marketers continue to shift more budget to digital.

Why Integrated Campaigns Matter:

We surveyed marketers about a lot of different tactics: from paid display and social media marketing to content, affiliate, web, search, and more. And what we learned when we asked about challenges was that it always came back to one thing: data.

Marketers told us that ROI was hard to measure. They told us teams were siloed, so campaigns weren't shared. And they told us that data and back-end systems were fragmented.

That matters. Whether you're trying to target your ads or mail fliers to the right audience, data helps make sure that you're targeting the best possible customers, but also whether you can attribute results to the campaign.

Whatever your own ad budget looks like in 2019, it's crucial to think about how data can build a cohesive customer experience – whatever the channel or device.


Brand Spotlight Partner

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