While local advertisers continue to dedicate more of their ad budgets to traditional media, they’re increasingly focused on digital — particularly digital video and audio, mobile texting, search, social, mobile apps and content marketing.
They are also heavily engaged in geo- and other targeting.
Half (51%) of TV users report buying various advanced TV (ATV) features, but just 11% of respondents have used video streaming to date.
These are a few highlights from the latest annual survey of local U.S. advertisers by Borrell Associates, being released today.
This year’s results reflect responses from 2,288 local advertisers between April and July 2019, solicited from active advertiser lists of media companies across the country. Only those who answered all 40-plus questions were included in the report results.
Respondents’ reported average ad budget for 2019, $116,200, is up 1.6% versus 2018’s $114,400 average. But two-thirds spent under $50,000 in 2018, and 69% say budgets are unchanged for 2019 (12% report budget reductions).
Most (81%) reported buying both digital and non-digital advertising in campaigns in 2018. Two-thirds (65%) said they were offered digital advertising by a traditional media sales rep, and 70% said they had purchased such packages.
On average, respondents’ 2018 spending on traditional media was 1.9 times more than on digital media: $29,442 versus $15,397. Broadcast TV, cable TV and radio led spending, but search engine marketing was fourth, followed by events/sponsorships (see table above).
On average, these advertisers used 3.4 types of non-digital advertising, and 2.8 types of digital advertising, in 2018:
However, for 2019, print media continue to be prime targets for reduced spending, while nine of the top 10 media to see increases in spending are digital. Fully 67% are planning to increase spend on digital video ads, 61% on digital audio, 57% each on mobile SMS messaging, search engine marketing and social media ads, 54% on mobile app ads, and 52% on content marketing:
Also, 44% say they’re “trying something new” in 2019 — with search engine marketing and email advertising leading the top 10 (cited by 9% and 7%, respectively). Close behind (each cited by 6%) are banner, pop-up or display ads on websites; mobile SMS/text; digital audio (podcasts, streaming radio, etc.); digital/streaming video; and mobile in-app ads or push notifications.
Of the 11% who report using digital/streaming video, 84% distribute video on their own social media pages, 75% each on YouTube and their own websites, and 62% pay for video placement on social media.
Among TV buyers, 49% report buying traditional spots only. However, a combined 51% buy some forms of ATV: OTT, connect TV or video on demand (19%), multiplatform (not just TV set) reach (14%), programmatic (7%) and addressable targeting beyond age, gender, geo (7%).
Digital video ads are rated very or extremely effective by 41%, broadcast TV spots by 35% and addressable TV buys by 35%.
Targeting is used by 85% of respondents, and 79% of those who buy targeted ads are using geo- or location targeting. More than two-thirds (67%) use geo- or location-based targeting, 54% use age or gender, 40% use digital behavior, 30% customer metrics (e.g., loyalty, transaction value), and 26% purchase behavior.
Regarding best sources for new customers, non-digital and digital advertising are reported to be about even (52% versus 48%). But looking at which specific channels are best at driving new customers, Facebook is #1 (cited by 33%), followed by referrals from friends/family (27%), search engine marketing (20%) paid social (19%) and company website (18%).
Half Are Confused About Spending, Results
Half (51%) of respondents agreed with the famous declaration by John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.” More than a third (37%) disagreed, and 12% weren’t sure.
While 42% feel they’re spending an appropriate amount on advertising, one in three (32%) say that they’re probably underspending, and 15% that they’re probably overspending (11% said they don’t know).
Further, one in two (48%) report having no specific method to determine how much is spent on advertising. Percent of gross revenue is used by 15%, percentage increase/decrease over previous year by 13%, and “same amount every year” by 10%.
Local advertisers also have some pointed suggestions for media sellers, including “Stop selling me things and bring me solutions,” and dropping the jargon in favor of “concrete ideas and numbers.”
A full summary is available on Borrell's site.