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US digital ad spend for computing products and consumer electronics will double between 2019 and 2023

The forecast: The computing products and consumer electronics industry saw increased revenues in 2020, and that bump will accelerate digital ad spending for years to come.

A deeper dive:

  • If the pandemic was a make-or-break event for many industries, the tech industry fell firmly in the "make" category, as employees and students purchased computers and other devices to make working from home possible.
  • Most companies in the industry grew their revenues in 2020, led by Adobe, Oracle, Citrix Systems, and Salesforce.
  • By year-end 2023, US computing products and consumer electronics digital ad spending will have more than doubled since 2019, soaring from $9.80 billion to $21.56 billion, per our estimates.
  • Tech companies have shifted their marketing in the past 18 months: In an earnings call, IBM mentioned a pivot from branding to messaging about “things that matter the most.” It focused on bundling much-needed services and shifted from traditional channels to digital.
  • The computing products and consumer electronics industry saw 37.8% growth in display advertising in 2020 and 21.3% growth in search.

Looking ahead: We expect sustained growth in 2021, although the category will fall behind consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail, and entertainment. Though digital ad spending in the computing products and consumer electronics sector will begin slowing this year, it will maintain double-digit growth for at least the next few years, with a 13.3% rise in 2023.