Yes—you read right— the global digital advertising industry is worth over US$192 billion. The industry could afford to give each Jamaican living today just under US$72,000 each—that’s almost JA$9 million for each citizen. Before you start calculating how you would spend all of that money, let’s build on a larger narrative of what this means for consumers and businesses seeking to use digital advertising to market their goods, services and/or selves.

The 2017 statistics show that for every minute an estimated 650,000 searches were made on Google, over 700 videos were hosted on YouTube, over 700,000 status updates and 500,000 comments were posted on Facebook, over 65,000 tweets were made, and approximately 180 million emails were sent. This tells us that the future has arrived and the future is digital. It is without a doubt the premier marketing channel because of the detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), tied to return on investments (ROIs), ease of access and the flexibility it allows. In Jamaica, the tides are turning.

Forrester Research notes that globally “Online consumers already dedicate 52% of their media hours to digital channels.” This is a trend which we expect to grow exponentially, as estimates project the overall digital marketing industry—including advertising—will reach $306 billion by 2020.

How many times have you been tempted to change the channel when the same repetitive ad interrupts your favourite TV programme or song on the radio? Print, radio and television cannot stand up to the test of longevity under the game-changing conditions digital marketing has set, especially since their model focuses on disrupting the audience’s experience rather than providing the audience with immersive, relevant content. However, the true test of digital marketing’s power is found in the answer to this question: “If your company doesn’t have a website—or it falls after the first page on a Google search—does it really exist?”

Even the most tech-resistant marketers and communication specialists are realising that going digital delivers serious results, as performance proofs continue to drives their trust. With each passing year the numbers continue to show that digital dominates. Here are some of the growth projections for the industry’s major components:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is all about trust. If you trust the makeup tips of your favourite YouTube beauty, then why not buy the products she uses. She’s even conveniently provided a link below that can give you a 25% discount on your first purchase. Nearly 90% of advertisers claim this type of digital marketing as an important part of their overall marketing strategy. With this much buy-in from marketers, the industry is projected to increase annually by a total of 10.1% between 2015 and 2020, to an estimated US$6.8 billion industry.

The Affiliate Marketing Cycle. Neil Patel Digital.


Display Advertising

Effective display advertising is no longer determined by how extravagant you can be with your skyscraper ad units and other traditional marketing techniques with giant overhead costs. Digital has made display advertising targeted and easy, it reduces your ad spend and those overhead cost. With those innovations to an already profitable industry, display advertising accounted for the largest share of digital ad spending in 2016 with 47.9% and worth US$32.17 billion. Within display advertising in the U.S., Facebook is the hands down ruler, making up 39.1% of spend, equal to $16.3 billion in 2017, and up from $12.4 billion in 2016. Heineken Light showed just how impactful Facebook advertising can be when, in just three days, it reached 54% of audience, an estimated 35 million people, using display ads.

Email Marketing

By 2019, one-third of the global population is expected to be email users. With that consistent increase in audience, email continues to be one of the most productive advertising mediums. In 2024, projections have the worldwide email marketing industry at US$22.16 billion from US$4.51 billion in 2016.

Social Media Marketing

There were 2.80 billion global social media users in 2017. Of that number, 18-34 year olds are most likely follow a brand via social networking and 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. These kinds of measurable results in sales, leads, and branding are what make Social Media Marketing the lion in the savannah of Digital Marketing and Advertising. There is no better way to reach a large number of people at a low cost.

One of social media’s weaknesses is that it’s dynamic and in constant change, which calls for frequent changes in marketing strategies and business models, so much so that many tech-resistant marketers hardly leverage it as much as they should in their strategies. The numbers behind prove two things: one, that it’s the most effective tool for the vast majority of products and business types out there, and two, that if navigating social media proves too difficult, outsourcing your social media to competent experts should be your next choice.

The United States is the largest social media market in the world with over US$9.4 billion dollars spent in 2015 alone. The 2016 spend amounted to US$14.82 billion in the US and US$3.68 billion in China.

Content Marketing

Not quite sure what content marketing is? Think BuzzFeed. Defined, content marketing speaks to the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but stimulates interest.

The US is the world’s largest market for content marketing with US$12.11 billion in 2014 revenues and a growth rate of 12.2%. However, some less moderate predictors project content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019. “Content marketing has emerged as the most vibrant and talked-about marketing sector of the past five years, building momentum at a faster growth rate each year from 2010 through 2014,” said PQ Media’s chief content officer, Patrick Quinn.

The Content Marketing Maturity Curve. NewsCred.


If they don’t click, you don’t pay. It’s as simple as that and advertisers love it. The pay-per-click (PPC) advertising industry has surpassed radio, cinema and outdoor advertising globally and is rapidly closing in on on the Global TV advertising spend. The global pay-per-click industry was projected to be US$61.1 billion by 2016 and may be nearing the US$80 billion mark this year.

The key to pay-per-click’s success can be found in these three statistics:

  1. Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google AdWords, the most popular PPC platform.
  2. PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic website visitors because they are strategically targeted for the ads they are shown based on their interests.
  3. Search ads can increase brand awareness by 80% by getting your ads in front of more persons.

Search Engine Optimisation

The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) industry is growing and evolving continuously. The SEO techniques used today are very different from those used two years ago. The reason behind this quick evolution is the changes made in the search engine algorithms. In 2016, in the US alone, $65.26 billion was spent in search engine optimisation. This spending is expected to rise to $79.27 billion by 2020. SEO has become very important for websites, though many still consider it as nothing more than a passing fad. However, our question to you is ,what about US$79.27 billion sounds like a fad? If you want to get noticed online, SEO is your way into the future, because remember our earlier question: if you’re company website is not on page 1 of Google does your company really exist in the eyes of consumers?

We’ll leave the answer to you.

SEO Infographic. SiteGuarding.com.


To sum it all up, 2018 will see even more value added to the Digital Marketing and Advertising mix with advances in Viral Marketing, Behavior-Based Email Marketing, Visual Content, Live Video Streaming, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. What this goes to show is that digital advertising is the way of the future. With each passing year, marketers who resist moving into the digital future are holding back the companies they represent and costing real money when the easy alternative would be to embrace the digital spectrum and benefit from what the $192 billion digital advertising industry has to offer.

Our upcoming workshop, Making Every Digital Dollar Count, will give you the boost your career needs to get ahead in this US$192 billion dollar industry or help you acquire new skills that may compliment your current career goals. Sign up and benefit from the skills and expertise of our team of industry professionals.


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