Smartly.io, the leading digital advertising platform for creative and performance marketers, today announced new research outlining how companies are using automation and streamlined creative to reach customers on their preferred channels in 2023. Smartly.io’s fourth annual Digital Advertising Trends Report surveyed 100 leaders across the eCommerce, retail, media & entertainment, travel and financial services industries. The report examined year-over-year findings while exploring new trends that will continue to inform digital advertising and marketing plans in 2023.
YouTube and Instagram Are The Most Popular Advertising Platforms
Consumer-facing brands are increasingly spending more significant amounts of their marketing dollars on digital advertising. This year’s respondents showed much of that spending is still going towards ads on social media platforms with over one-third (37%) spending 26% to 49% of their marketing budgets on social media advertising. Most plan to increase advertising spend on YouTube (79%) and Instagram (75%).
These results are similar to last year’s report, which found 98% of respondents were buying ads on Facebook and 94% were buying ads on Instagram. While Facebook has seen some decreases in overall ad spend from the last year, Instagram continues to gain momentum into 2023. Additionally, there was a significant drop from the 2022 to 2023 report in the number of respondents buying ads on Twitter year-over-year (71% to 51%, respectively).
A More Streamlined Approach to Digital Advertising and Automation
Last year, automation weighed heavily on advertisers and this year is no different. In fact, half of those surveyed said that macroeconomic factors are one of their biggest headwinds for digital advertising in 2023. Despite this challenge marketers continue to invest in digital advertising and are searching for a more streamlined approach to automation noting improvements need to be made to find increased effectiveness & efficiency.
“Seeing leaders prioritizing spend around automation despite the economic uncertainty proves that brands as a whole are seeing it as a needed investment for growth versus a cost center for the business,” explains Lyle Underkoffler, CMO of Smartly.io. “With more brands understanding the value in increasing automation investments, 2023 will see more teams enabled to take a less ‘hands-on’ role in creative development, allowing for streamlined ad creation processes that will drive more seamless storytelling and increase ROI.”
B2C Will Lean on Technology to Overcome Ad Challenges in 2023
Moving into 2023, consumer-facing companies must take steps to reduce inefficiencies in their advertising and creative development processes if they want to stay competitive. About half of the respondents cite increased competition (49%), maximizing efficiency and return on investment (ROI) (48%), producing enough creative (48%), and measurement and attribution (47%) as their biggest needs for digital advertising. Further investments in technology are crucial to help alleviate some of these issues both today and in the years ahead.
The results from this study show most brands are planning more investments this year into the tools and technologies that will make their digital advertising more effective. Technology enablement will be key in not only bridging divides between teams but also in scaling creative effectively.
To read more about this research and learn how to better prepare your organization in 2023 as consumer behaviors continue to evolve, download the complete Smartly.io research report.