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The Financial Services Industry Steadily Grows Digital Ad Spend

Direct response, mobile get significant attention

Advertising spending in paid digital media by the US financial services industry will hit $5.20 billion in 2013 and rise to $7.38 billion by 2017, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Financial Services Industry 2013: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Key Trends.” While growth will continue to slow from a post-recession high in 2011, the industry’s share of digital spending will remain relatively stable over the forecast period. Between 2012 and 2017, industry spending will experience a 9.9% compound annual growth rate.

Marketers in the financial services industry—including insurers, banks, credit card issuers, investment firms and others—will invest 62% of their paid digital dollars in direct-response efforts this year, eMarketer estimates, while brand-focused campaigns will make up the remaining 38%. Search and display will still command the largest chunks of digital spending across the category, with growth expected in the areas of mobile, local, video and native advertising.

While the financial services industry is currently the second-highest spender in paid online and mobile media, growth is expected to moderate over the next several years. eMarketer’s current forecast anticipates that the automotive vertical will rank No. 2 in terms of digital ad spending by 2015, while financial services will fall to No. 3.

The US financial services industry is ahead of the curve and moving quickly when it comes to mobile advertising sophistication. Rapid consumer adoption of mobile devices—including smartphones and tablets—to access financial information and conduct transactions has quickly become a must-have offering and has provided industry marketers with a unique and ready-made opportunity to get in front of desired audiences.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) predicted that finance, insurance and real estate marketers would collectively spend $2.08 billion on US mobile marketing this year, up significantly from about $1.33 billion in 2012. By 2015, spending is expected to nearly double.

Though the MMA’s numbers include a broader variety of tactics than paid advertising, they do illustrate the massive investment that finance-related companies are making—and the potential they envision—in the mobile platform.


The full report, “The US Financial Services Industry 2013: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Key Trends,” also answers these key questions:

  • How much will financial services marketers spend on paid digital advertising in the next five years?
  • How much of their digital budgets are financial services marketers spending on direct-response vs. branding initiatives?
  • How are online and mobile platforms changing the way the financial services 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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