Digital trade: trends in digital marketing

As the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) eV, we were able to continue to observe rapid digitalization of the entire economy in 2018, including classic industry, for example. The digital transformation has made significant progress again compared to the previous year, which we can also see in the lively development of our member landscape. Players from ever new industries join the BVDW and drive the digital economy forward together with the digital natives. Topics such as artificial intelligence and blockchain have long since left their niche and have become socially relevant topics. Politicians in particular find it difficult to keep pace with these developments. Unfortunately we have to realize

In 2018, the BVDW asked its members about the importance of artificial intelligence:

Digital marketing

In the meantime, digital marketing in particular is constantly getting new opportunities and at the same time becoming more professional. For example, a new Code of Conduct Programmatic Advertising was developed in 2018, which ensures even more quality and transparency in the market. Large companies like Google have already signed it, and advertisers are also in the process of aligning their work accordingly. In the area of ​​brand safety, the large German associations OWM (online advertisers in the brand association) and the BVDW jointly developed a brand safety whiteper for the first time in 2018, which defined common guidelines for the market. There was no such comprehensive collaboration on Brand Safety before. 2018 was also the year of smart speakers around Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Telekom Magenta and Co. More and more Germans are using digital voice assistants or already have smart speakers in their houses and apartments. This gives audio content a significant boost that companies have to use for themselves. This is also shown by the figures for the new online audio monitor. Some results:

Trend 1: 6.6 million new web radio and online audio listeners

According to Online Audio Monitor [1] , online audio continues to grow dynamically: Of the current 40.8 million users in Germany, 16.3 percent have only discovered online audio in the last two years. This corresponds to 6.6 million new users or people who have heard at least one of the various online audio offers for the first time since 2016. A particularly large number of women (62 percent) and 30 to 49 year olds (44 percent) are new users. The user base of online audio is thus coming closer to the population average.

Many of the users devote themselves intensively to the various online audio offers. Almost every second of them (44 percent) spends half of their audio time with offers such as web radio, podcast or radio broadcasts on demand and music streaming. In addition, online audio drives the general audio usage time: 23 percent of online audio users state that they have used more audio in the course of the last year compared to 16 percent of non-users of online audio.

Smart speakers are mainly used to play radio and audio content.

Although many applications and audio content can be accessed via the smart speaker without installing special skills or actions, 26.6 percent of users have set up such programs – 85 percent of them for audio use. Applications of music streaming services and radio platforms are ahead with 60 percent and 59 percent respectively. Whether pre-installed or not, the audio usage via smart speakers is convincing: 92.7 percent of users are at least mostly satisfied with the audio usage via the smart speakers. That can be a reason why this content is accessed with high regularity. Every second person (49.2 percent) listens to audio content via smart speakers on a daily or almost daily basis, compared with 58.3 percent of those under 30.

So now is the best time for businesses to develop an audio strategy.
A contribution worth reading about what companies need to be aware of is available on the BVDW website [2] .

Trend 2: Quality offensive in digital advertising

With the aim of establishing a uniformly high level of quality in digital marketing, the focus group Digital Marketing Quality (DMQ) in the BVDW started the Digital Trust Initiative at the end of 2018. Numerous certificates, quality standards and initiatives already exist in digital marketing both nationally and internationally, some of which complement and build on one another, but sometimes also pursue the same goals. With the Digital Trust Initiative, the BVDW, with the involvement of the best internet marketing consultant, (media) agencies and system providers such as metering service providers, created the basis for establishing a uniformly high level of quality.

It is particularly important to continuously record and evaluate market developments and specific requirements of advertisers and to integrate them into the criteria of the Digital Trust Initiative. The central element of the DTI is the catalog of criteria containing three pillars, on the basis of which both marketers and agencies as well as system providers are evaluated: The first of these pillars, “User Experience”, includes the obligation to the criteria of the Better Ad Experience program (product portfolio) as well as the LEAN Principles (technical product specifications). The second pillar, “Verification”, focuses on viewability, invalid traffic and brand safety. “Transparency”, the third pillar, is based on the Code of Conduct Programmatic Advertising (signing is mandatory) as well as mandatory participation in media analyzes. The criteria are weighted differently – for certification to be successful, at least 80 percent of the requirements must be met.

Trend 3: Influencer Marketing

In addition to the audio boom, 2018 was also the year of influencers. Influencer marketing has taken another step in the evolution; hardly a large company nowadays does without working with Youtubers, Instagramers and bloggers. Influencer marketing has a clear influence on sales figures, especially for young target groups. Every sixth person buys a product that they previously saw from an influencer [1]. The companies are reacting and increasing their budgets for influencer marketing. According to a new survey by BVDW (November 2018) among advertising companies, 61 percent of German social media and influencer marketing managers are planning increasing budgets for influencer marketing in 2019. Around a quarter of the companies surveyed spend between EUR 10,000 and EUR 50,000 a year on Instagramers like Bibi, Caro Daur or Lisa & Lena. Another 25 percent invest between 50,000 and 250,000 euros per year. The companies are professionalizing influencer marketing. The preferred partners are mostly niche influencers, not the big stars.

Influencer Marketing was particularly present in the media because of a new wave of warnings. Various judgments forced influencers to tag their postings with the hashtag #advertising, even though no money was paid for the post. Meanwhile, there are also judgments that have withdrawn such general obligations. The discussion is not over.