The conversation among marketers has been very focused on search marketing for the past few years – and rightly so thanks to its explosive mobile growth. But it’s time to shift the conversation again. Contrary to what many marketers may believe, display advertising is not going anywhere. It’s here to stay.

Display ad spending is set to surpass search this year. While search marketers will still spend a significant $29 billion in 2016, over $32 billion will be spent on display ads. Mobile is the single largest driver of this growth in display advertising. So much so that spending on mobile display ads has also surpassed desktop. Digital marketers will invest $21 billion in mobile display advertising this year and it’s only going to grow.

display advertising

Display spending now exceeds search, with mobile as the main driver.

New Opportunities in Display Advertising

With any marketing channel, continuous improvement must occur to remain strong and relevant to both marketers and consumers.

And display has been both. A new way to purchase ad space, and new ways for consumers to see and interact with display advertising are only a few examples.


Spend on programmatic display ads will reach $38 billion by 2018 (82% of total digital display ad spend). Mobile is fueling this growth: In 2017 we’ll see 75% of all programmatic display ads on mobile.

There are many reasons for the rising popularity of programmatic ad buying. In the case of display advertising, marketers benefit from:

  • More audience data
  • Better targeting
  • Efficient ad buying

Native Advertising

Ad blocking’s perceived threat has actually helped native advertising thrive. Estimates show spending on native ads will reach $21 billion by 2018 (over 300% growth in only 5 years).

The way we consume information on our mobile devices – in very singular, fluid feeds – has bolstered native advertising’s effectiveness. It creates:

  • Seamless integration into user scroll
  • Less intrusive messaging


Many marketers are familiar with click-to-call technology. We’re already using it on our mobile websites and in our mobile search ads with call extensions, call-only ads, and local search results.

Click-to-call is poised to revolutionize display advertising. From how consumers will engage with display to how marketers will measure its success, click-to-call is changing the display game.

To learn more about click-to-call from display and get tips to drive more calls from your display advertising, check out our new eBook The Click-to-Call Playbook for Display Advertising.