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Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Industry Turns to Mobile, Social and Video

Despite slow growth, $3.21 billion will go toward digital ad spending in 2013

Digital advertising spending by the US computing products and consumer electronics industry hit $2.83 billion in 2012, and that figure will rise to $4.66 billion by 2017, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Industry 2013: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Key Trends.” Though industry revenues are experiencing slower-than-average growth, the industry’s top advertisers are focusing their marketing dollars on big-budget campaigns for their fastest-growing products: tablets, smartphones and other “smart” devices.

eMarketer estimates that marketers in the computing products and consumer electronics industry will invest 57% of their paid digital dollars in direct-response formats this year. Branding-focused efforts will make up the remaining 43%.

Targeted advertising in mobile, video and social formats is growing particularly fast as marketers redouble efforts to one-up competitors and establish themselves as undisputed technological leaders.

During the past several years, paid mobile advertising for tech-related products and services has surged, both in the US and globally. Millennial Media reported that tech industry spending worldwide for 2012 surged 294% year over year in Q3 2012, and the sector was responsible for 3% of total campaigns on the source’s network last year.

In addition, many tech firms have successfully seeded social video ads that have gone viral. Social video marketing firm Unruly Media reported that the tech industry accounted for 17.8% of the online social video ads shared on its platform in Q2 2013, up slightly from 17.0% in Q1 2013.

These efforts have helped digital video earn its place as the rising star among digital display formats. According to several industry experts, some marketers currently spend up to 20% of their digital ad budgets on online and mobile video ads. And as more inventory and more ad targeting capabilities become available, this percentage is likely to grow.

Industry marketers have also been hard at work on social networks, developing their presence as interactive hubs of brand and product information. A November 2012 study by research and strategy firm BrandSpark and Better Homes and Gardens found that electronics manufacturers were among the top 10 company types that US internet users followed on Facebook.

As marketers beef up these owned and earned presences, they are also devoting more budget to paid social network ads to make their carefully developed content more discoverable. “We have paid media on both Twitter and Facebook,” said Liya Sharif, senior director of global marketing at Qualcomm, and her company is using it to support its custom programs and in concert with other multichannel efforts. “It’s becoming important in two areas: for acquisition of fans and followers, and for engagement,” she added.


The full report, “The US Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Industry 2013: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Key Trends,” also answers these key questions:

  • How much will computing products and consumer electronics marketers spend on US paid digital advertising in the next five years?
  • How much of their digital budgets are computing products and consumer electronics marketers spending on direct-response vs. branding initiatives?
  • How are online and mobile platforms changing the way the computing products and consumer electronics industry approaches advertising?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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