Good morning, will ad spend bounce back in the second-half of the year?

eMarketer thinks so. Worldwide ad spending is still expected to grow compared to last year, says research firm eMarketer – but the company has revised its model to lower growth projections by nearly 3%. Worldwide media ad spend will increase by 7.0% to $691.7 billion in 2020 over the prior year, down from the earlier growth estimate of 7.4% to $712.02 billion. The updated spend projections, released Thursday last week, include figures for digital, directories, as well as print, out-of-home, TV and radio advertising.

Last month, WPP, the holding company of agencies like Oglivy, GroupM and Kantar, released its annual earnings results for 2019 and announced a particularly interesting objective for the future: “In the next two years, we plan to train 50,000 people to be able to articulate the power of artificial intelligence and its value to clients, and to accredit 5,000 data scientists, engineers and creative technologists in the key marketing technologies.”

Let’s be honest: training a full staff on AI is no easy task, but to undertake an initiative to train 50,000 people is something that takes enormous coordination. From breaking down tech barriers to spreading access to data and analytics across the organization, WPP’s CTO Stephan Pretorius lifts the curtain on the company’s large-scale AI training plans and how his team plans to tackle the initiative.

Also, for those in search marketing, join Search Engine Land for our live-streamed video meetup today at 2 p.m. EST. Barry Schwartz will lead the discussion with SEOs Pedro Dias, Lily Ray, Alexis Sanders as well as Daniel Waisberg of Google who will be chatting SEO, trends — and answering reader questions. Submit your question here

There’s more news below – including an update on what’s going on in the adtech world, along with a Mindful Moment exercise to keep you balanced in these challenging times. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


Does COVID-19 change everything?

Every fiber in my being wants to lay down and watch Netflix all day. The disruption we are facing is overwhelming, and how we navigate matters.

I’m seeing a lot of people post on social media about how COVID-19 changes everything. I know I’m not alone wondering what will be left with when the virus finally subsides. Will life return to what it was? Will everything be normal again? Will my retirement fund bounce back? I wish I knew.

But what if those are the wrong questions? After all, wasn’t business already moving at lightning speed? What happened to AI and blockchain upending and disrupting everything? Ah yes, those were simpler times.

This is also an important time to take stock about how business will be reshaped in the short and long term. Not just marketing.

Short term, the cards will fall where they may. Unemployment will spike (it already has). Companies will fail or falter (they already are). Things will be nuts for a while (we all feel it, don’t we?). And the constantly changing situation has us running in circles trying to find ways to make our work (if we are still employed) relevant in these times of uncertainty.

My question is more long term. Will people return to their old patterns, or has everything indeed, changed? Will industry rebound? Will my e-mail marketing trigger campaigns once again earn 50%+ open rates? Will we ever shake hands again?

Take a moment to recognize we’re in crisis. You are allowed. We all are.

But take note of the opportunity facing you because regardless of how “everything will change” or not, what you do in the next day, week, and months to come will define your future.

Crisis or opportunity – you choose.

Marc Sirkin is Third Door Media’s SVP Marketing & Experience 

Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to make an observation or share their perspectives. You can submit your own here.

Adtech Shorts

PubMatic launches Audience Encore, TikTok and The Trade Desk announce new DSP integration

PubMatic launches new ad service with first-party data plug. Adtech company PubMatic has launched Audience Encore, a new offering designed to let ad buyers use a publisher’s first-party data across PubMatic’s entire programmatic ad exchange. Media buyers will have access to unique audience segments from publishers and data companies along with the other first-party audience segments they are already buying from traditional sellers. Why we care: With Audience Encore, advertisers can use their own DSP to buy media and targeted audiences using publishers’ first-party data. This can be done across PubMatic’s entire programmatic ecosystem, including formats like mobile, video, and OTT. For media publishers, it’s an added bonus if you’re already sitting on a goldmine of first-party data. Now, you can exchange first-party data programmatically alongside your current inventory. Source: PubMatic

TikTok turns to The Trade Desk to monetize inventory. The video-sharing app popular among young users has partnered with The Trade Desk, one of the largest DSPs for real-time bidding and ad placement. The Trade Desk will offer TikTok’s inventory to advertisers beginning in Asia-Pacific. PepsiCo’s Lays has signed on as an initial partner. Why we care: The key thing to note is that this partnership opens up the ability to advertise programmatically on TikTok through an independent DSP. Before, all ads were sold direct through TikTok. Source: BusinessWire


How to adapt your marketing in the consumer privacy era

The rules of marketing continue to change – especially in light of data measures like the CCPA and Apple ITP. Consumers now expect privacy-oriented marketing from all brands. Fail to adjust to their privacy preferences, and you’ll undoubtedly see a negative impact on your bottom line. This eBook from BlueConic outlines what your organization must do today to thrive in the increasingly data-conscious, constantly evolving marketing landscape.

Register now! »

Mindful Moment

We’ll be sharing daily mindfulness exercises to help us all take some time to decompress. If you have a suggestion, please email me at

Jenni Kulp, digital marketing strategist/owner at digital advertising agency Digitable, sent us this excellent suggestion: “When you have a moment of negativity or sadness, list (or think of if you don’t have paper) 10 things you are thankful for. The first 3-5 things are usually easy. But the last 5 things usually make you think a little deeper and appreciate more that life isn’t so bad.”


"What should I look for in a call analytics solution?"

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book — or good Marketing Intelligence Report — when you’re stuck inside. MarTech Today’s Enterprise Call Analytics Platforms guide is an insightful and informative read that will help you understand the current landscape of call analytics platforms and what trends you should watch for.

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

‘We’re figuring it out day by day’: Media faces extreme uncertainty in the wake of ad pullbacks – Digiday

Citing COVID-19, Trade Groups Ask California’s Attorney General To Delay Data Privacy Enforcement – Forbes

Remote work during coronavirus outbreak puts millions more on Microsoft Teams, Slack – Reuters

Temporary closures could wipe out up to 50% of some retailers’ annual profits, Cowen says – Retail Dive

Local Advertising in the Time of Social Distancing – Street Fight

The journey to social intelligence – Twitter