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Mobile, Social See Biggest Digital Ad Spend Bumps

Digital is used for direct response more than offline marketing

May 30, 2013

Marketers are backing up the excitement around mobile, social and video with more ad dollars. Of the 20 major US brands surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers in March 2013, 65% said they were increasing their investments in mobile—the highest percentage of marketers upping investments in any channel studied. Only 10% planned to decrease mobile spend.

And marketers seem to have no hesitations about social, as 55% of respondents said they were putting more dollars to the format, while no advertisers reported decreasing social investments.

Change in Spending on Select Digital Initiatives According to US Marketers, March 2013 (% of respondents)

Video rounded out the top three channels with the greatest number of marketers increasing spend. Two out five marketers were upping their investment in video.

All three advertising formats are being aided by a broad audience who advertisers want to reach and engage. Growth in the number of social media users and online video viewers is reaching maturity in the US and has dipped to the single digits, according to eMarketer estimates. Meanwhile, the mobile internet is still set to see double-digit user increases during the next couple of years.

TV remains the biggest portion of US marketers’ budgets, at 13% on average, according to the ANA. Social media and internet display each took in 5% of digital budgets as of March, and mobile marketing garnered another 3% of total spend.

Even as marketers turn to more brand-focused objectives with their digital media, direct response was still more commonly a digital goal than an offline marketing goal.

Allocation of Digital Marketing and Offline Marketing Budget According to US Marketers, by Objective, March 2013 (% of respondents)

Marketers allocated 60% of their offline budget to branding vs. 42% of their digital budget. Direct response took 32% of digital spend vs. 20% of offline spending.

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