The latest estimates for global digital marketing spend indicate that the sector could be worth as much as $100bn on the back of double-digit growth in the US and UK last year which saw the sector reach $52bn.
Compiled by accountancy firm Moore Stephens, the survey was conducted in partnership with ad and media consultancy WARC, incorporating results from 800 firms across North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
Overall, brands in the US and UK allocated 23% of their budgets to digital marketing (martech), up from 16% just a year ago, with 63% of US technology budgets now spent in-house, rising from a 44% share last year.
These shifts have been driven by a desire among brands to target consumers directly via social media, voice assistants and search engine optimisation.
Speaking to Reuters, study author and partner Damian Ryan said: “Clearly marketers are seeking to build in-house strength and are set to spend more on martech to remain competitive. Our research finds that this budget is coming from media spend and will have a resounding impact on the value of media-centric agencies.”
The fast-changing industry is grappling with the impact of tougher data protection rules in Europe introduced in May as well as the emergence of giant one-stop-shop services for marketers, led by Adobe Systems' acquisition of e-commerce firm Magento for $1.7bn.