Three digital marketing trends to watch in the US

18th April  |  
4 minutes
online marketing trends US

The digital marketing industry in the US continues to go from strength to strength. Digital advertising alone is expected to reach $298 billion this year, with 82% deriving from programmatic advertising. However, in common with other global markets, digital marketing in the US is going through significant shifts that will fundamentally change how the discipline is practiced in the years ahead. Here, we look at three of the key digital marketing trends to watch in the short- to medium-term.

1 Data privacy regulations continue to emerge

With increasing concerns over privacy and data security, businesses are under scrutiny regarding how they collect, use, and store consumer data. The introduction of regulations like the GDPR in Europe has had global repercussions, including in the US, where businesses are now prioritising transparent data practices and enhancing data security.

GDPR is also the inspiration for a growing number of home-grown data privacy laws including the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), and Connecticut’s Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring (CTDPA). It’s likely that other states will replicate these measures in the years ahead. It’s also possible that a federal law, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), will finally make its way through the House of Representatives. All of this means that digital marketers in the US will need to double down on efforts to ensure that their practices are privacy conscious.

2 Consumers demand greater protection, but also greater personalisation

A second digital marketing trend, and one that links to the first, is growing consumer demand in the US for privacy-preserving practices online. The statistics speak for themselves. According to one survey, 84% of Americans are concerned about data privacy when interacting with brands online. Even 82% so-called digital natives (people aged 18-24) stated their unease with how their information is gathered by brands. The message is clear: marketers must protect consumers’ privacy not just to assuage the regulators, but also to maintain customer trust.

A complicating factor, however, is that Americans have not lost their thirst for personalised and timely brand engagements. According to McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect a personalised experience when interacting with a brand, and 76% feel frustrated when they don’t get it. Digital marketers therefore need to focus on finding ways to personalise their marketing campaigns without hoovering up too much personal data. Fortunately, innovators in the ad tech space are showing marketers new ways that this can be done, as we can see in our final digital marketing trend.

3 Greater fragmentation and choice will come to adtech

In the past, marketers and publishers have relied on third-party tracking cookies to deliver personalised campaigns to the right people at the right time. As we have seen, however, these cookies are no longer fit for purpose in a world where privacy is a priority. This is causing significant change in the adtech ecosystem. Most significantly, given its dominant share of the browser market, Google is deprecating tracking cookies in Chrome; something it hopes to achieve by the end of the year.

However,  over whether Google’s proposed alternative to tracking cookies, the Privacy Sandbox, will be fit for purpose. In the meantime, the adtech industry is innovating alternatives that will be able to provide a privacy-first replacement for delivering audiences at scale.t. The most promising , which leverage telco network intelligence to verify users across the open web without the need to know who they are.. But most likely, US marketers will in the future leverage a range of interoperable solutions to deliver personalised campaigns as scale. This will be a more fragmented adtech ecosystem with greater choice for marketers and enhanced compliance with privacy legislation. It will also ensure that consumers can still benefit from personalised content without having to compromise on their data privacy demands.

Digital marketing in the US is in a state of flux, with new operating principles and ways of working emerging the whole time, powered by a wave of technology innovation. The prospects for digital marketing in the US are therefore better than ever as the world pivots to a privacy-first internet model.

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