With the average local ad budget rising this year by 1.6% from $114,400 to $116,200, referrals, social media, and search marketing top the list of new leads for marketers, according to a study released by Borrell Associates on Monday. The analysis does reveal that when it comes to local, marketers buy more non-digital types of advertising than digital.
Facebook at 33% does the best job of driving new leads for marketers, followed by referrals from friends or family at 27%, search engine marketing at 20%, and paid-social media advertising at 19%. Company websites at 18%, professional referrals at 16%, radio at 14%, events and sponsorships at 11%, newspapers at 11%, and direct mail at 9% round out the top 10 referral media.
Email advertising follows at 7%, with Instagram at 6%, magazines at 5%, and broadcast TV at 5%. All other categories individually are 4% or less.
For paid advertising, non-digital ads at 52% slightly edges out digital marketing at 48% as a source of new leads. Most marketers say they get the leads from traditional forms like print, broadcast, cable and outdoor.
One percentage or less of marketers cite Twitter, Snapchat, Yellow Pages, digital video or audio ads as a source. Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, or LinkedIn are the best sources of new customers.
Overall, when buying advertising, the biggest challenge seems to be that half of marketers are confused about how much to spend and whether it is working. Some 42% say they spend an appropriate amount, 32% think they under-spend, while 15% say they probably over-spend and 11% don’t know.
Some 48% do not have a specific method to determine how much to spend, 15% spend a percentage of gross revenue, while 13% use a percentage to either increase or decrease based on the previous year, and 10% say they spend the same amount each year.
Ironically, 2% decide how much to spend based on their return on investment, responses, and leads.