Brexit uncertainty might be giving UK businesses the screaming habdabs but marketing budgets will silence the doubters, according to a new report from Zenith, which has upgraded its forecast for UK adspend growth this year from 0.7% to 2.4% after demand from advertisers turned out to be higher than expected.
According to the latest Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, the UK is expected to remain fourth on the list of the world’s top 10 advertising markets in 2020, despite the fall-out from leaving the European Union.
Adspend in the UK was £24.21bn last year, the report said, and this is forecast to grow to £26.07bn by 2020.
Meanwhile, global ad expenditure will grow 4.5% in 2018, reaching $581bn (£443bn) by the end of the year, with two-thirds of all growth in between 2017 and 2020 coming from paid search and social media ads.
Over this period, total spend on paid search will rise by 26.7% to $109bn, while social media spend will grow 48% to $76bn.
Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence Jonathan Barnard said: “Better use of artificial intelligence and integration with retail is driving continued strong growth in paid search. As voice search becomes more important, though, brands will need to focus more on content and SEO to secure first-place organic results for their most important keywords.”
Commenting on the findings, Sizmek general manager EMEA Kees De Jong said: “Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, UK ad spend growth has increased massively; with social media and paid search expected to drive most of that growth, it’s yet another indication of the growing preference towards digital advertising.”
However, he warns against ploughing spend into Facebook and Google as it does not mirror the number of hours people actually spend on these platforms.
De Jong added: “In a complex digital advertising landscape, the success of a campaign will be determined by whether it reaches the right person, on the right platform, in the right context and at the right time. This is where AI can help brands serve digital adverts in a smarter and safer environment. Through AI, companies can not only tap into a wealth of data to deliver adverts that resonate, it can add value that’s sorely lacking in many ad campaigns. Combining data, creative and media together, and building a foundation that is driven by AI, will see a greater chance of success and ensure advertisers get the most out of their ad budget rather than flitting it away on campaigns that may not deliver.”
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