RBC Capital Markets' semiannual survey of 1,770 advertising professionals digs deep into budget allocations, future spend, and return on investments for online advertising to analyze trends.
While online remains a key marketing channel, the study -- Net Advertising Survey: Strong Growth Trends Largely Intact, released Friday -- found that 71% of marketers, compared with 69% in March, allocate 20% of their budgets to online. It also revealed that the percentage of marketers expecting their online ad spend to increase over the next year fell slightly to 70%, compared with 71% in March.
The findings also show that 33% -- compared with 34% in March -- of marketers spent more than 20% of their budgets on paid search. The percentage of marketers who do not use paid search at all rose to 14% from 12% in March 2018, rising 4% YoY.
Those spending more than 40% of their company’s online budgets on search fell 2 points from March 2018, and 3 points from September 2017 to 12%.
Overall, 86% of marketers spent part of their budget on paid search, with 33% spending more than 20% of their budgets on the channel and 12% spending more than 40% of their budgets on the channel, according to the study’s findings.
“In 2018, we are estimating advertising revenue of approximately $96B at Google (ex-YouTube), $54B of ad revenue at Facebook, approximately $20B of revenue at YouTube, $7-$8B at Amazon, $2.5B of ad revenue at Twitter and $1.1B at Snapchat,” wrote RBC Capital Market analyst Mark Mahaney, with help from associate Zachary Schwartzman, and AVPs Dylan Haber, and Shweta Khajuria in this very comprehensive report.
Per survey results, Facebook edged out Google when marketers were asked to name the online advertising platforms they find most useful, ranking them in order based on return on investment. RBC analysts point to strong measurement tools behind newer ad formats as on reason.
Google did rank “just a tiny bit behind” Facebook. RBC attributed that to “the trackable nature of search advertising.”
Twitter ranked No. 3. Instagram moved to No. 4 from No. 6 in this ranking. YouTube ranked at No. 5, followed by LinkedIn at No. 6. Amazon, Yahoo, Snapchat, and Pinterest rounded out the top 10, with AOL and Roku following.
Respondents for Facebook -- at 26%, compared with 25% in the last survey -- admitted to allocating more than 31% of their budget to the platform. Some 38% allocated between 11% and 30%, and only 8% allocated no budget to Facebook. Some 64% allocated between 1% and 30% of their budget to Instagram. About 7% allocated more than 30%, and 30% of respondents did not allocate any of their budget.
For Google, 25% of respondents allocate more than 31% to its search engine ad platform, whereas 66% of respondents said they allocate between 1% and 30% of their budgets. Only 9% allocate no budget to Google. Only 5% of those surveyed spend more than 30% of their online budgets on YouTube. Some 27% of respondents said they do not use the platform.
The survey of more than 2,770 advertising executives was conducted with Ad Age for September 2018 to gauge sentiment of online advertising.