The past two months have been inordinately challenging for the world at large as the global pandemic affects all spheres of life and business. Governments are bracing for sharp contractions of their national economies, but the current downturn is also throwing up opportunities for some sectors, especially where digital operations underpin the business model. “Advertising has always been an industry quick to evolve with the times, devising new formats to reach consumers in an increasingly connected world,” notes Daniel Yomtobian, an entrepreneur and corporate executive with an established reputation in the online media space. “While the timing and strength of a global economic revival remain uncertain, the digital advertising market has held up relatively well and is expected to stage a swift recovery once business activity returns to normal. Moreover, there are indications that social distancing measures and quarantines are driving changes in consumer behaviors, most notably a strong pivot towards online and mobile services. This is likely to create additional opportunities for digital advertisers and help them rebound faster.”
Boosted by the proliferation of mobile devices, the rise of social media platforms, and the boom in online shopping and streaming services, digital advertising has enjoyed a decade of robust growth. As Daniel Yomtobian points out, it now accounts for more than half of total ad spending, and its share is projected to increase further. Before the pandemic started affecting the market, digital ad spending was forecast to reach $335 billion in 2020, rising to $517 billion by the end of 2023, according to estimates published on Statista. In a report released last August, Grace Research Data said the global digital ad market would deliver a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% between 2019 and 2026 to hit $664.7 billion in value. Although forecasts are being revised to account for the impact of the pandemic, most analysts and industry players expect the sector to weather this storm relatively well with support from several verticals. While travel, hospitality, and traditional entertainment have been battered, there has been excellent news from other quarters: food delivery, software (especially messaging and video conferencing solutions), streaming services (films, gaming, and music), home improvement, and hobbies are areas that have seen a spike in popularity and a related increase in digital advertising budgets.
Market analysts and economists are wary of committing to projections for a specific recovery timeframe, but most appear to expect some relief during the second half of the year and a pronounced upturn in 2021, Daniel Yomtobian comments. In the digital advertising sector, there are signs of tentative optimism, as suggested by a recent poll from the European division of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). A large proportion of the respondents, which included both buy- and sell-side operators, reported a 25% drop in second-quarter spending and trading, but the majority were upbeat about the third quarter of 2020. Among buy-side participants, 60% expect some degree of improvement, the proportion rising to 67% for sell-side respondents. Additionally, the poll revealed impressive growth during the pandemic in ad spending across several verticals: healthcare topped the list with 42%, fast-moving consumer goods and entertainment each registered an increase of 35%, retail saw a 23% rise, and electronics achieved a 22% uptick. In another sign of guarded optimism, eMarketer made only a slight revision to its 2020 forecast for global advertising expenditure, amending its previously projected growth rate from 7.4% to 7%, or from an estimated $712 billion to $691.7 billion.
Starting out as a web designer, Daniel Yomtobian quickly realized that his true passion was online advertising. Considered a pioneer and innovator in this space, he has dedicated himself to helping advertisers and publishers maximize their ROI and successfully monetize their solutions. In 2014, C-Suite Quarterly described him as a “…young leader [who] will continue to play an important role in shaping the online world of tomorrow.” Daniel Yomtobian holds a business marketing degree from California State University-Northridge.
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