Digital Advertising Poised to Eclipse Broadcast TV Advertising

By John Egan

For pretty much all advertisers, the rise of digital advertising has upended the approaches that they carry out to spread their branding messages. Nonprofits are no exception.

Now, there’s even more of a reason for nonprofits and other advertisers to take digital advertising seriously. In a report released June 8, professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that by 2017, the U.S. market for internet advertising will overtake the market for broadcast TV advertising for the first time.

Digital advertising will be the topic of a session at the upcoming DMA 2016 New York Nonprofit Conference. The session is titled, “Digital Primer: Everything Your Boss Thinks You Already Know About Digital Advertising That You’re Afraid to Admit You May Not Know.”

In the nonprofit sector, Goodwill is realizing the power of digital advertising. According to Adweek, a study by research company Millward Brown and the AdCouncil found that while digital-only ads constituted just 5 percent of a 2013-15 public service campaign for Goodwill, those same ads generated 49 percent of the campaign’s donations.

Despite that finding, the study showed that TV advertising remains a viable option thanks to its broad reach, Adweek says. In the end, the study pointed out, nonprofits must maintain a mix of advertising: digital, TV, radio and print.

“With the evolution of social and digital media, there has never been a more exciting time for social causes,” Ellyn Fisher, senior vice president of public relations and social media at the AdCouncil, told Adweek. “However, it’s important to do the research to identify the best opportunities to reach your audiences and achieve your goals.”

As a component of digital advertising, mobile made up nearly 35 percent of the Internet ad market in 2015, PwC says, and is projected to represent a nearly 50 percent chunk of the ad market in 2020. However, PwC notes broadcast TV advertising is expected to “remain healthy” at least through 2020.

“Consumers are engaging with media increasingly on their mobile phones and even at work. These mobile behaviors are challenging the traditional value of attention and the ability to monetize advertising dollars,” says Deborah Bothun, leader of PwC’s entertainment and media practice.

“There’s no one perfect metric to inform advertisers of the value they get when you consider the shifting consumer behaviors,” Bothun adds. “However, the market will be hindered by consumer resistance to a poor ad experience and potential widespread adoption of ad-blocking technology.”

As digital advertising chips away at broadcast TV’s share of advertising, newspaper advertising continues to weaken, the PwC report suggests.

“In a world where social networks are internet on-ramps for many consumers, [newspaper] publishers are recognizing they are no longer destinations, but suppliers of content,” PwC says. “Further industry consolidation can be expected as publishers search for efficiencies to create new consumer touch points and respond to digital competition.”

Bothun says that against the backdrop of the ascent of free online media, the “multispeed media landscape has created unprecedented challenges for companies in the battle for customers and value” and is propelling the acceleration of digital innovation.

This article is brought to you by the DMA Nonprofit Federation. Click here to register for the 2016 New York Nonprofit Conference.