RBC Capital Markets Looks At Future Ad-Spending Patterns, Identifies Four Dominant Platforms

Some 67% of marketers participating in a RBC Capital Markets survey of 2,000 marketing professionals conducted in September 2019 expect their online marketing budgets to “increase” during the next year. Only 3% expect their budgets to decrease during the same period.

The RBC Capital Markets’ fourteenth annual survey in collaboration with Ad Age focuses on advertising trends related to Google and YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Amazon to determine the rate of growth and where markets and agencies will spend their budgets.

Three-quarters of respondents allocated more than 20% of their marketing budgets to online marketing, compared with 74% from the April 2019 survey, including a record-high 37% who allocated more than 50% of their budgets to internet services. The tail end of the survey shows that only 14% of respondents spend 10% or less of their total marketing budget online.

The survey looks into the amount that marketers allocate to budgets including paid search. Overall, 88% of marketers spend on paid search, with 36% spending more than 20% of their budgets on the channel and 14% spending more than 40% of their budgets on the channel.



The percentage of marketers not using paid search as a channel remained flat -- at 12%, compared with the April 2019 findings -- but fell from 14% since September 2018. The percentage of those spending more than 40% of their online budgets on search was flat compared with April at 14%, and up two percentage points compared with September.

Future spending patterns were also analyzed. At least 46% of all survey respondents expect to increase their ad budget with four out of eight of these platforms, and at least 22% for all platforms, compared with the April 2019 findings. “The results for Instagram, Google, and YouTube are the most bullish, and spend intent on Facebook continues to slide, while Pinterest and Snapchat’s outlooks appear more muted,” according to the report.

Marketers said they will increase the amount they spend in the next year on four of the eight platforms analyzed. Some 56% said they will increase the amount spent on Google, compared with 54% in April.  Some 46% will increase the amount they spend on Facebook, compared with 49% in April. And 22% intend to increase the amount they spend on Snapchat, compared with 17% in April.

The percentage of advertisers who will decrease the amount they spend ranges from 4% to 8% for half of these names, with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat at 13%, 14%, 15%, and 18%, respectively.

When survey participants were asked to name the online ad platform they found most useful, Facebook and Google ranked among the top in terms of the return on investment, leaving the others far behind.  They note the “superior measurement tools at Facebook and the trackable nature of Search advertising at Google.”

Instagram ranked No. 3, rising from No. 6 in March 2018), as its targeting capabilities and advertiser tools become more sophisticated. YouTube moved into the No. 4 position, forcing Twitter down one ranking to No. 5. LinkedIn followed at No. 6. Amazon, Yahoo, and Snapchat rounded out the top 10, with AOL and Roku coming in at the end.

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