Another week and another incredible set of figures coming out of the world of digital marketing.

A record has been broken stateside, with US internet advertising revenues hitting the $15 billion mark for the third quarter of 2015 according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC US.

It’s an incredible statistic and a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent from the same period in 2014. It’s also a 5 per cent increase from the second quarter of 2015; digital investment is on the up, and shows absolutely no signs of stopping.

Interestingly Sherrill Mane of the IAB pointed out a very simple reason why; “Brands and agencies are focusing ever more attention on interactive screens, following consumers as they flock to digital platforms to be entertained, engaged and informed.”


US internet advertising revenues hit the $15 billion mark for the third quarter of 2015


All areas we’ve talked about this year such as mobile marketing, digital strategy, a consistent and concise social journey, creative content, social outreach, and more.

And another reason is possibly down to something we mentioned the other week; that 2016 will be the first year that we see a fall in linear television viewing for the first time in its history.

Advertising Age has pointed out that, again over in North America, television viewership is in ‘free fall’ with 39 well-known shows suffering double-digit declines.

And television advertisers won’t like that one bit.

Your Turn: Are we right? Is 2016 the year that digital marketing fully takes over and becomes the main marketing technique for brands across the globe? Let us know in the comments section below.

Off with the show

Why are we banging on about America, though? Digital trends that happen in the states typically eventually ripple across the world. But the trouble with television over in the States isn’t unique to them, with viewership declining here in the United Kingdom, too.

Enders Analysis with official data from the UK’s official audience measurement body, Barb, has said that television viewing in the 25-34 age bracket has fallen by seven per cent year-on-year while overall television viewership has fallen by nearly half an hour a day since 2012.

Incredibly though television ad spend over this Christmas period in the UK is set to be £310 million which, in itself, will be a new record if accurate.

That doesn’t really tell the full story, though, and for us highlights a wider problem with the concept of outbound marketing in general. Big brands taking up the best slots for the highest prices to dominate the television market, giving fewer opportunities to smaller brands.


In North America, television viewership is in ‘free fall’


It’s one of the reasons why so many brands are investing in inbound marketing and new digital ways of lead generation. The European Union is set to tighten up data and privacy laws next year in March 2016, partly because cold-calling is becoming more odious and companies are acting loosely with people’s data.

The changes in the law are expected to hit UK marketers especially hard, but will be a welcome change in what is rapidly being seen as an outdated medium.

Outbound cold-calling, mail drops, and expensive television adverts scream at people to buy things. No wonder brand owners are investing in more measurable methods of modern advertising that can provide a better return on investment than outbound and is highly interactive with its audience.

Your Turn: Will the fall in television viewership and questions over the future of outbound marketing make inbound digital marketing the number one revenue driver for brands? Let us know below!

Out with the old?

Outbound when done properly is still an effective part of the sales process, but have another read of Sherrill Mane’s comments above. She hits the nail on the head when addressing consumers’ needs and desires to interact, be entertained and informed.

If anything I’m consistent! This year I’ve made a big noise about digital strategy, and how important it is to research your target audience and integrate their likes and dislikes into a creative inbound campaign that speaks to them.

We’re not saying outbound is a terrible thing or on the way out. Far from it; but there’s little doubt that a well-targeted creative inbound campaign can produce better long-term results and an impressive digital return on investment.

Especially if you use a clever combination of all the tools at your disposal, from creative content marketing techniques, social outreach, ethical data collection, and much more besides.

With linear television viewership set to decline and people flocking online, it makes sense to go where the market is, and the sheer amount of digital marketing tools at marketers’ disposals makes an affordable, tailor-made inbound campaign easier than ever before.


2016: The Year When Digital Marketing Conquers All?


After all, you have to go where the market is, don’t you? If people are using mobile devices and other online technologies (such as TV catch-up and streaming services) then you have to follow them to try and catch their attention.

But shoving an ad in people’s faces just won’t cut it anymore. Virtual reality headsets are set to be big sellers next year when Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus launch in early 2016. That potentially opens up a whole new world of digital interactive marketing options and ways of connecting with new audiences.

‘Connecting’ is the key word in all this, which is why inbound and digital investment is growing at such an unstoppable rate. The carrot and stick approach to marketing is disappearing. An online inbound approach that truly connects your brand to your audience and gives them a truly exceptional service is a long-term opportunity you can’t ignore.

2015’s been a good time for digital marketing. 2016, though, is set to be the year when digital marketing really primes itself to take over the world.

That’s all from us at the Webpresence blog for 2015. Thanks very much for reading and we’ll see you again on 05 January 2016. Until then we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing and how to tailor a creative inbound strategy that generates leads and expands your reach online speak to a Webpresence representative now.

(Images: Svopi, CPCC, Designwebblog