“Mobile has become much more entrenched in consumers’ lives than desktop ever was,” Barnard said.
But it will be a while before advertisers pivot away from desktop completely.
“There’s a way to go before we reach a balance between mobile and desktop access,” Barnard said.
Zenith predicts display advertising will grow by 15% annually through 2018, driven by video and social. Both channels will enjoy double-digit gains, with video ad spend increasing 20% annually and social soaring 27%. Display buys will be primarily placed programmatically through private marketplace deals.
“The spread of programmatic tech from remnant inventory and banner advertising to all forms of display is opening up display to the kind of efficiency and targeting that programmatic buying allows,” Barnard said. “Private deals are becoming a much more important part of programmatic.”
So Long, Banner
Banner ads, however, may have seen their day. The format is forecast to decline annually by 1.8% through 2018, according to the report.
“The banner ad is … not a particularly effective answer,” Barnard said. “It tends to be off-putting and disruptive to consumers. We may eventually see a complete absence of banner advertising, but it may not be for many years to come.”
Mobile will also redefine search advertising, as queries become more localized and contextually relevant. Search will grow at an average rate of 13% through 2018.
“Mobile makes the localized searches a lot easier to perform,” Barnard said. “For example, a fast-food chain that keeps track of fulfillment of orders can match location and speed of delivery to tell people where to get their food in the most efficient and rapid way possible.”