Search trends, keyword patterns and data points have cultural nuances and consumer preferences woven throughout. And while search engine marketers have been quick to use paid search for
direct-response advertising, many more now view the media as a branding tool, as shown in eMarketers' most recent direct-response and branding estimates for 2014. The analysis firm estimates that in
the U.S. advertisers will spend more than $50 billion on digital advertising in 2014, representing the fifth sequential year of growth. The numbers released Tuesday forecast that $20.5 billion will go
toward branding and $29.6 billion to direct response this year.
Better measurement and attribution skills continue to blur the lines between direct-response spending and branding. eMarketer estimates that direct-response and brand advertising will grow at approximately the same pace year-over-year -- just over 16%. Direct-response advertising will rise from a higher base, gaining $4.74 billion compared with $2.79 billion for branding and leading to an increase in ad spending market share to 59.1%.
Marketers have been talking for years about using paid search as a branding tool, but search continually gets pegged as the one-time response media when marketers should see a clear path to start the relationship and keep it going.
"CMOs must learn how to tap into the strategic potential of search and maximize its power as a versatile branding tool," Sargi Mann wrote in a Think with Google post published September 2013.
The latest study from eMarketer examines "Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry" to provide an overview of ad spending, as well as challenges and opportunities that drive marketing decisions across automotive; computing products and consumer electronics; consumer product goods (CPG); financial services; media and entertainment; pharmaceutical and healthcare; retail; telecom; and travel.
Retail will spend the most in 2014. In fact, the industry will collectively spend $3.32 billion, followed by Consumer Product Goods at $2.7 billion; Automotive and Telecom at $2.46 billion each; and Media and Entertainment at $2.6 billion.
The forecast also estimates what marketers will spend on mobile vs. desktop by industry. It reveals that most industries will invest similarly in mobile. Nearly all sectors will commit about one-third of spending to the mobile channel, but there are variations by industry. Retail will spend more on mobile and desktop, about $4 billion vs. $7 billion, respectively.