Executive Summary

Digital advertising, a large and all-encompassing category, drives much of today’s marketing strategy and has been the catalyst for a multitude of innovative marketing ideas. Digital advertising has streamlined advertisers’ abilities to specifically target desired audiences, ultimately leading to more conversions and leads. Perhaps more importantly, digital advertising is full of rich consumer data, which provides marketers with the ability to track performance and gain measurable results that give insight into the Return on Investment.

Understanding our target’s media habits, coupled with knowledge of industry performance and trends, is fundamental in achieving positive results when implementing digital advertising.

Digital advertising empowers marketers to track performance and gain measurable results that give insight into the Return on Investment.

U.S. Advertising Today

While traditional media continues to be part of the marketing mix, digital advertising has taken the lead and continues to grow in usage and in marketing spend.

Media consumption habits have changed. Consumers are now interacting with digital and traditional media simultaneously. This year, 146.9 million Americans will browse the web or use apps on their phone while they watch TV. This is over two-thirds of internet users.

As more consumers are connected to their devices, advertisers are making shifts in marketing plans and allocating more funds from traditional media to online media.

U.S. digital advertising revenue surged to a record-breaking $59.6 billion for the 2015 calendar year. Generating a 20% uptick over 2014 performance. Growth was seen primarily in mobile and social.

Mobile leads the way, reporting a $20.7 billion spend, a 66% upswing from the previous year. This rise in mobile may be attributed to advertisers spending more on mobile ad campaigns.

Social media spend also continues to rise, growing 55% to $10.9 billion; this is up from the previous year’s $7 billion spend. It is expected to grow at an even faster rate in the coming years. As it continues to grow, delivery of better and more targeted ads can be expected.

The future is bright for digital advertising. By 2018, it will be poised to overtake TV as the largest advertising segment. U.S. digital spending is expected to grow at 11% per year over the next five years and account for 46% of overall U.S. ad spending.

Consumers’ increased time spent on digital devices, coupled with improved targeting and measurement techniques, will continue to drive growth in the industry.

Today’s Youth Market

Generation Z (individuals born 1995 – 2015) includes individuals that are part of the Non-Prior Service age category – maximum age of 20. Reaching this group of digital natives is key; this can be accomplished by utilizing a variety of digital advertising methods. Below are key insights on this group’s demographics, behavioral patterns and media consumption habits.


  • They account for 25% of the population today. By 2020, this group is estimated to compromise 40% of all consumers.
  • Described as “Screenagers” because they are known to use multiple devices, up to 5, all at once.
  • Their primary source is mobile. While on mobile, Generation Z relies on social media.
  • Rely on technology and social media at a significantly higher rate vs. any other generation.
  • Attention span is approximately 8 seconds.

The Power of Social Media with Generation Z

Due to minimal attention span, Generation Z prefers visual channels that are concise and informational.
Social channels such as Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram all offer brief and visual outlets for the information they are seeking.

Generation Z sees the ability to stream live video as a positive way of connecting with the world instead of viewing it as a distraction that keeps them from personal communication.

Virtual, manageable world: Teens value the ability to shape their reputation, manage their networks/ friends and mask information they don’t want others to know on social media. They view social media as a credible source of information.

Solution Advertising to Generation Z

Red Carrot has studied and tested various ways of reaching this Non-Prior Service group via social media advertising. We developed an effective algorithm that delivers successful targeted lead generation.

A powerful advertising platform is utilizing Facebook with its multiple vehicles. For the Army National Guard, for example, the objective was to obtain contact information from prospective recruits. The requirements for a successful lead were multiple and very specific. Each of these qualified leads was generated from individuals within the 18 -19 year old age group that fit the National Guard criteria. They submitted a form expressing interest in learning more about the National Guard.

Result: During our test period, Facebook lead generation ads successfully generated thousands of leads. Overall, lead generation ads performed 33 times stronger than display advertising. After statistical analysis and rigorous testing, the lead generation platform on Facebook proved to be an efficient and effective means of advertising to generate leads. Facebook ads also provide the ability to use targeted information and real-time lead generation.

Advertising on Facebook utilizing Red Carrot’s proprietary algorithms allowed for:

  • Collection of leads across devices
  • Ability to obtain quality information via pre-populated forms and easy-to-edit forms
  • Targeting and optimization capabilities to reach the right people
  • Ability to obtain real-time lead information

Overall, advertising on Facebook via the Red Carrot method has provided a compelling way to reach the Non-Prior Service audience.

1.Global entertainment and media outlook 2016 – 2020, PwC Global, Ovum
2.emarketer.com, June 2015
3.Global entertainment and media outlook 2016 – 2010, PwC, December 2014
4.Forrester Research Digital Marketing Forecasts, 2014 – 2019


About Red Carrot

Red Carrot, an 8(a) and woman-owned business, is distinguished by our proven federal experience and performance-driven processes. Our team is fueled by passion, backed by intelligence, and built on expertise.​

Red Carrot believes that there is always a better way. We solve our clients’ biggest Strategic Communications, Customer Experience, Management Consulting, and Human Capital challenges.

Red Carrot approaches challenges through our vetted processes, based on industry best practices and proprietary data. We continuously explore innovative and often untapped perspectives. This constantly enhances the quality of our work. From our inception, we have stayed research-centric, data-informed, and customer-oriented while expanding our range of highly skilled capabilities. The Red Carrot team supports projects across multiple industries and government agencies. Our accolades include the On the Rise Government Contractor of the Year, Telly Awards, and Hermes Creative Awards.