Many advertising agencies and analysts say that marketing spending is on the rise, which could indicate a change in the way businesses acquire customers.
Ecommerce retailers and direct-to-consumer brands are increasingly relying on advertising that targets buyer behavior to drive customer acquisition.
This ad often took the form of Facebook and Instagram ads. The meta advertising channel became so powerful that some sellers put all their budget there. And why not? A marketing team must double work on a channel that delivers exceptional returns on ad spend. It was the same with meta advertising platforms.
However, changes to Apple’s software could signal a wholesale shift in digital marketing.
Apple crushes Facebook
When it allowed iPhone users to opt out of disclosing the apps they view in May 2021, Apple hit on Meta’s behavior tracking capabilities. “Crushed” is the term Nathan Baugh, a freelance writer, used in an August 18, 2022 tweet describing Apple’s move to increase advertising revenue.
“Apple surpasses $3.5B in annual revenue from its ad network,” Baugh wrote, “but crushed FB, Snap, and thousands of small businesses in the process. How? Dismissing the statement that big tech could lead to a crash.” Consumer privacy is at risk.”
Baugh’s Tweet Finally Points You To Young Money Article, “Apple’s diabolical plan to control ads.” The article details the theory as to how Apple is making its way into the advertising space.
Perhaps Apple’s collective leadership cares about individual privacy. So his move could have been philanthropic.
Whatever the motive, other platforms like Meta and Snapchat have experienced declines in revenue, which may indicate that they are a little less effective.
On August 16, 2022, Shopify announced Collabs, a two-way influencer marketing platform to connect e-commerce brands with social media influencers.
Influencers can make money promoting products for ecommerce businesses using Shopify. Businesses gain access to a new marketing channel.
Collabs helps Shopify enter the creator space. Shopify is almost certainly looking for ways to increase its own revenue and shareholder value.
There is no better example of an emerging advertising channel in the ecommerce industry than Amazon. In August 2022, Amazon’s advertising revenue reportedly exceeded $31 billion, making it the third largest digital advertising platform behind Google and Meta.
Amazon’s main promotional product is retail media advertising. It is also an alternative to social media and Google searches for e-commerce brands or, for that matter, consumer packaged goods generally.
A February 2022 CMO survey (in collaboration with Gartner) and more than a few large advertising agencies predicted an increase in marketing spend in 2022 and 2023.
On the surface, this is not unusual. Marketing investment has generally been increasing for decades. But some of that growth may be due to Apple’s iOS 14-induced tracking signal loss and the need to find alternatives to behavioral targeting.
The CMO survey is conducted twice a year, questioning approximately 2,500 marketers from major for-profit US companies. In February 2022, respondents forecast growth in 2022 and 2023, indicating the highest sustained marketing spend in years.
If this was just an increase in digital channels, we can once again think that this is not unusual. But even traditional media – newspapers, radio, television, direct mail – are enjoying growth, according to the survey. Some of these channels have not experienced growth in a few decades.
One could argue, as Gartner does, that this is a return to pre-Covid levels compared to actual growth, but that doesn’t explain the interest in traditional media. However, the explanation for evolution is less effective behavioral targeting.