Search Tops Digital Media Buys For Large Local Advertisers

Traditional forms of advertising dominate media buys for big local advertisers, but many still look to support innovative types of technology.

The larger advertisers are not planning to increase budgets as much as the smaller ones, but they do plan to adjust the media they buy. Of the 3,860 local advertisers Borrell surveyed this year, 11% budget $200,000 or more for annual advertising.

There were 432 total responses for the survey, conducted in April and June 2018.

When asked what these companies look for in the media they buy, search engine marketing ranked No. 7 on the list, but took the No. 1 spot in terms of the top digital media that large local advertisers buy. In fact, they buy $78,627 of search.

Marketers will spend $238,471 on broadcast television, $111,322 on direct mail, $102,822 on newspapers, $101,797 on radio, $99,938 on cable TV and $89,156 on event marketing. Outdoor media and magazines follow.

The top 10 new types of media that advertisers are beginning to purchase include SMS or text-based ads and outdoor media and magazines follows. 13%, video ads at 11%, audio ads and podcasts at 8%, sponsored content and native ads at 6%, cross-site advertising at 6%, content in search marketing at 4%, email at 4%, cinema advertising at 4%, and in-app ads at 4%.



Only 3% of these big advertisers will eliminate or trim search engine marketing. On the other end of the spectrum, 46% of these advertisers will eliminate or trim their newspaper budget, 44%, Yellow Pages; 38%, magazines; 37%, other print publications; 29%, outdoor; 26%, broadcast TV; cable TV; direct mail; radio; deals and promos.

Some 60% of large advertisers will increase or begin to buy search engine marketing. Only SMS and text messages at 66%, and video advertising precedes SEM.

In fact, of the 23 types of marketing media listed in the report, digital dominates the upper half of the list, accounting for 10 of the top 12. But traditional marketing still maintains a strong place with larger advertisers.

Virtually all large advertisers are active in social media, banner, email, and search marketing.

Larger advertisers are not abandoning traditional forms of media for cheaper, more targeted digital media. They are skimming dollars from big mass-media budgets to support a well-established presence in search and social media, as well as funding experimentation in up-and-coming digital audio and video opportunities, according to the report.

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