Advertising Industry Forecast For 2013

It’s been an explosive year for the ad industry, particularly in the online sector. From ad targeting’s important role in the presidential election, to Facebook’s recent IPO, online advertising is continuing to grow and evolve in our ever-expanding digital world.

As 2012 winds down and we head into the New Year, I have included a few predictions below as to what we might expect to see in the industry over the next year.

1. Facebook Will Allow You To Serve Ads Using Your Own Ad Server

Although Facebook began to allow other ad servers on its platform in certain circumstances in 2012, I expect that momentum will continue to build throughout 2013.

Third-party ad servers are the most basic platform for measuring performance across ad buys, and the lack of this ability is holding dollars back from Facebook. So, for the social networking giant to continue its success into 2013, Facebook will likely invite more ad servers to join its growing network.

Technically, this means that companies will be able to drop a cookie when serving a Facebook ad. Functionally, this means marketers will be able to measure reach, frequency and performance across their entire digital ad spend, including Facebook.

2. Google Will Continue To Restrict Access To Data

Google has an unprecedented amount of data about online users, which makes the company the best place for brands to advertise to their target consumers through online ads. Currently, Google has no viable competition in this space since they own the majority of the data, and I expect that this will likely remain the case in 2013.

In 2011, Google shut down open access to the “referring URL” (the search term that brought someone to your site). In 2012, Google unified its privacy policy so that whenever you are on Google, the company has the right to use your input and track you for advertising purposes.

If in the past Google has planted thousands of flowers and allowed us all to use them, in 2013 they are going to try to pull these together into a coordinated bouquet so that you are encouraged to stay connected to Google all the time. We should all expect the company to pull all of its products together in the coming year.

3. Apple Will Move To A Six-Month Product Rollout Strategy

And, in doing so will actually continue to boost company revenues and cash reserves. Expect some whining from Apple’s True Believers as the company takes more and more money from your pocketbook.

However, there is such a huge demand for Apple’s sexy devices that increasing the product rollout from one upgrade per year to two will increase the total number of units shipped for the company. So, as a few consumers whine, Apple shareholders will continue to smile as the firm maintains its position as the world’s largest company.

4. Microsoft Will Fail In Attempt To Become The “Third Mobile Platform”

Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) have incredible momentum within the mobile market and both companies continue to release upgrades with increased frequency.

While Microsoft has launched its own platform, it’s hard to imagine that it will be able to offer the same performance, reliability, breadth of offering and, most importantly, number of supported apps as Apple and Google currently offer.

5. Consumers Will Continue Trending Toward Tablets Vs. Laptops

Desktop computers have been on the decline for a while now, but are laptops next? With the explosive growth of tablets and the new iPad Mini, consumers are starting to choose tablets over laptops.

A combination of lower price point and higher portability makes them more attractive to many consumers. As a matter of fact, Forrester predicts that tablets will eventually replace laptops entirely as soon as 2016.

6. Increase In Mobile Will Continue To Erode Time Spent On Other Media

I’m an avid reader of The Economist, and once upon a time, I even read the print edition. Then, for a while, I read it online on my computer. But, when the tablet and mobile versions were released, I found that I was no longer reading the print or online versions.

Mobile has truly cannibalized all other media. In some cases, it expands the amount of time we spend online. Showrooming, the practice of looking for cheaper prices via a mobile device while in a retail store, is an example of being online at a time when we formerly were not. And, this trend is only going to continue to grow, as brands and marketers learn to take advantage of the new phenomenon.

All of these predictions relate to the online advertising space, which many predict will trump TV advertising in 2013. In 2011, TV was 42% of advertisers’ media spend, and digital was 37% — so, I look forward to seeing how this changes in 2013.

Here’s to an exciting year ahead!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Display Advertising | Display Advertising Column


About The Author: is chief executive officer at search retargeting leader Magnetic charged with driving overall company expansion and building out Magnetic’s search retargeting infrastructure.

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  • Mark Weyland

    Incredible post I have to agree. Going by the forecast, we are heading towards an explosive year for the advertising world, especially the online sector. You are bang-on with your predictions for Facebook, Google, Apple, and the rise of popularity for laptops/tablets over desktops. However, I must say writing off Microsoft, so early, might not be a good idea. Whether it would be the “Third Mobile Platform” or not is too early to say I suppose, but it will certainly do much better then what it did in 2012.

  • @steveplunkett

    think you are missing on #4

    4. Microsoft Will Fail In Attempt To Become The “Third Mobile Platform”

    Bing Local + Facebook + Verizon = coverage


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