Michael Foster

Digital advertising has become more important than ever, as more and more people spend more and more time on digital devices. According to eMarketer, a research firm, digital ad budgets are expected to rise to over $37 billion for 2012.

The firm expects more conservative growth rates in 2013 and 2014 but still expects growth rates over 12 percent for both years as more and more advertisers shift budgets toward digital media. The trend has already begun for this holiday season, as advertisers and brands recognize the importance of digital campaigns. Most recently, M&C Saatchi has said its tablet spend will exceed smartphone spend for the holiday season as advertisers look to capture eyeballs.

According to eMarketer, growth in advertising budgets will spike in 2012 is a sign that this is truly the year of digital. Growth in advertiser interest in buying spots on YouTube, paying for search results and broadcasting banner ads across screens is largely driving the momentum.

How can individual marketers profit from this trend? The first step is understanding who the big players are. Google still takes the majority of advertiser interest and there is no reason to expect this trend to slow. According to eMarketer, Google will continue to get a larger and larger share of ad budgets in 2013 and 2014, reaching 43.8 percent of total spend. Most of this spending will come from Yahoo, which eMarketer projects will see its 8.4 percent market share in 2012 dwindle to 6.9 percent by 2014. Microsoft and Facebook will also see their share grow modestly.

While this is great news for the companies that provide advertising space, it is also a challenge for individual advertisers. With greater ad inventory and more and more advertisers looking at getting their message across smartphones, tablets and desktop screens, the need to optimize will be greater than ever. Advertisers will need to make their ads compelling, interesting and engaging so that users focus on them over other competing ads.

At this year's ad:tech, advertisers at agencies and brands will be discussing the need for optimization from various angles. In "Mobile Marketing Executive View: Cutting-Edge Strategies to Optimize and Enhance Your Current Marketing Efforts," executives at major brands will discuss what optimization strategies enhance returns on advertising strategies and how advertising can be more about communicating with consumers than merely pushing products on them.

In "Publishers and Tablets: New Strategies for Monetizing and Creating Content," advertisers and analysts will discuss how growth in tablet adoption means advertisers will need to create tablet-specific ads to increase effectiveness on the end user.

Digital advertising is here to stay, but digital advertising will never stay the same for long. At this year's ad:tech, industry experts will discuss how advertisers can carve a niche in this growing and fast-changing new economy.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.