For those on the on the sidelines, the story of digital advertising in recent years has been as entertaining as a binge-worthy TV series. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy began in spring 2021, and the plot only thickens with rising inflation, a likely recession, and an unexpected cast of new ad platform characters: Netflix, Uber, and, curiously, Apple.
While these headlines are dramatic, they tend to obscure what’s really going on: digital advertising may be in transition, but it’s not dead. Consumer brands, especially direct-to-consumer (DTC), continue to rely on digital advertising and there are more and more ways to put it to good use.
Based on our work with hundreds of brands, along with a recent survey of 158 consumer marketing leaders, we’ve summarized what we know about the current advertising landscape below. We’ve also gathered tips for navigating these options to cost-effectively generate income during the holiday season and beyond.
There are plenty of setbacks, but startups have to be even more creative
Given the relatively low switching costs between platforms, digital advertisers should operate with an open mind and an eye for smart experimentation.
Dramatic headlines can mask upside opportunities
It is important for consumer start-ups to take the opportunity out of the doom and gloom. For example, Meta’s stock price is much less important to you than the number of users on Facebook, which saw 1.93 billion daily active users in the third quarter of 2022.
TikTok is more popular than ever, which is great for brands looking to experiment with a growing platform. But Instagram’s 2 billion monthly active users are hardly a thing of the past, meaning the platform still offers a huge opportunity for brand building and engagement.
Despite a rocky road, consumer advertisers persevere
Not surprisingly, satisfaction across advertising platforms included in the study – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Google – was remarkably low, with dissatisfaction rates ranging from 31% to 65% depending on the platform.