What to expect for advertising budgets and products in 2021?

What to expect for advertising budgets and products in 2021?

2020 has come to end.  How can we possibly know what to expect to happen in 2021?!   I’m no psychic and don’t claim to be.  But, I did attend a webinar that Borrell Associates hosted last month, and here are some of my key takeaways from their study.


Retail sales in 2020 have out performed the last 4 years

Now, that includes ALL retail industries.  At Vici, we saw that as well.  Retail was one of our top 10 categories of industries advertising with us through all of 2020.   Normally, we would see a lot of Mobile Conquesting™ being used for retail.  But, in 2020, we saw an increase in Social Media (Facebook/Instagram) as well as Amazon Targeting.  When it comes to Social Media, retail companies love to use the Carousel Ad.  This gives businesses the opportunity to highlight up to 10 different products/services within a single ad unit.  Each product or service can link to their own specific page of the businesses’ website as well, making it an easy navigational tool for the prospective customer.

With Amazon Targeting, retailers (who didn’t have an online retail store on Amazon.com) could target prospective customers based on their behaviors, or even by what they searched for, browsed, or bought on Amazon, creating a head-to-head competition.


A list of industries and what percentage of their annual retail sales happen in Q1.

As you can see in this table, most businesses see about 23% of their ANNUAL sales in first quarter.  If you are approaching businesses about digital advertising, talk to them about what percentage of their sales are in first quarter and the need to keep advertising.  What tools can you use to help these industries?  Depending on what industry you’re looking at, you might want to know what products work well for these industries.

For example, used car dealers see about 26% of their annual sales in first quarter.  Should you use Mobile or Desktop Ads?   Do you know how to best use Facebook and Instagram for automotive dealers?   When you create your valid business reason (what solutions and digital strategy do you have to offer that will solve their marketing goals and challenges), know what products work for each industry and do your homework. (You’re welcome. Borrell already did some in the chart above)


Which advertising medium do businesses believe was more effective in 2020?

Based on the survey that Borrell put together, notice that 11 of the top 24 were digital in nature.  The highlighted ones are some that we offer to our clients.


In 2021, SMBs say that they will increase their 2020 budget by 14% in advertising. 

Now, this could be because they decreased advertising budgets in 2020.  This is just a lift of 14% total ad budget.  Now is the time to get back in front of your clients (if you haven’t already).


80% of SMBs are NOT using geo-fencing.

This statement should make you think OPPORTUNITY!!!  My first thought on this is education.  SMBs aren’t educated enough about digital advertising.  This is your opportunity to explain to them how what geo-fencing is and how targeted it can be.   Check out Katie’s blog  about this topic.  When customers realize that they have the ability to put a virtual fence up around their competition and target their customers while they are shopping AND continue to target them after they leave, it’s like a giant light bulb goes on in their head and they start asking more questions (a buying signal, by the way).


Top 2 areas for growth in in 2021 are Streaming/OTT and Mobile Marketing.

If OTT isn’t part of your marketing mix, it should be.  With 25% of total TV viewing now being streamed, this is a growing opportunity!  50% of advertisers said they were going to increase their OTT spend. This strategy is mainly used for branding and awareness.


Mobile Marketing.  We call this Mobile Conquesting™.  With nearly 80% of US adults owning a smartphone, being able to reach your target audience is pretty easy to accomplish these days.  Mobile Conquesting™ is always advancing the technology it offers to reach consumers.

One of the latest advancements is called Cross Platform Targeting.  Cross Platform Targeting allows us to follow people that have been served an ad on their mobile device (whether they have clicked on it or not) when they go on to other digital ad platforms and get served other types of ads such as Display Ads, Native Display Ads, Facebook/Instagram Ads, Video Pre-Roll Ads, and Social Mirror™ Ads.  Cross Platform Targeting will help with conversions on the advertiser’s website because it reaches those people on all devices. Remember, on Mobile campaigns, you see fewer conversions on the advertiser’s website due to people’s fast paced actions on their mobile. But, showing the ad on all devices allows people the time to convert, especially from desktops and laptops.

Another capability of Mobile Conquesting™ is the ability to track on-site visits.  In-Store mapping is the most granular polygon layer, serving to precisely map the outlines of the business or point or interest.  Being able to track on-site visits from people that have been served your ad gives you an instant idea of the ROI you’re receiving from your digital campaign.  And, with a 94.4% accuracy rate (3rd party validated) it’s data that you can trust.

2021 has got to be better than 2020!  Now, you’ve got some information that you can use to help you make sure that it is.

  • Businesses are going to spend more money this year in digital than they did last year.
  • Streaming/OTT and Mobile are obvious places of growth.
  • Educate on geo-fencing
  • Before you go speak with a business, do your homework. They want to make sure you know more than they do.


Source: Borrell Associates

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