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Improved digital data unlocks new digital knowledge

October 20 th 2015

The digitisation of the world’s media has been revelatory for advertisers, creating numerous new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers in more dynamic ways.

But there’s also been a downside, and to date that’s mostly been in the inability to accurately measure the actual amounts spent on Digital advertising, and to gain the knowledge of where those dollars are being directed across an increasingly diverse digital landscape.

Indeed, even just verifying that a digital ad actually appeared can often be a difficult exercise.

SMI has always seen part of its mission to be filling data gaps in the market, and to that end we have gone a long way to improving visibility within digital ad spend by creating detailed product category data which is viewable across all major media and media sectors, including digital.

That means, for example, we can accurately report which product categories are the highest spending in keys sectors such as social networking, exchanges, content sites etc and how those spending patterns trend over time.

But now SMI’s Australian data is set to further enhance that visibility by providing category ad spend by sub-category.

And that means further visibility on key categories for the digital media, giving many marketers their first view of actual digital spend in their more discrete competitive market by being able to drill further into their category’s advertising behaviour.

Let’s use as an example the travel category. In the past three years, SMI’s category data has shown that travel advertisers have grown their digital media budgets from 21.7% to 28.2% of the total.

We’ve also been able to show that within that digital spend the travel category’s total spend on social networking has grown from 5.1% to 9.7% in the same period and the industry’s spend on exchanges (programmatic buying) has shot up from 1.9% to 19.5%.

And now we’re able to view those trends at a sub-category level and see for the first time that it’s the two travel sub-categories of airlines and travel agents/websites that are primarily responsible for the growth in exchanges, while travel agents/websites have significantly reduced social networking within their digital media plans.

Other travel sub-categories for which SMI now has data include government tourist bureaux and hotels/accommodation.

This data is hugely important to marketers as it provides them with the first real guide on actual digital ad spend in many new key areas.

For example, within communications we can now see digital ad spend within the sub-categories of mobile communications, internet and general services; in insurance we can now split out digital spend for the competitive health insurance market and the specialty retail category can now be broken down into apparel, luxury fashion, baby/children’s products/stores and sport retail.

It’s a new world of digital ad spend data, and it’s exclusive to SMI.

Jane Schulze

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