US Financial Services Industry Digital Ad Spend Passes $7 Billion - eMarketer

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US Financial Services Industry Digital Ad Spend Passes $7 Billion

More than six in 10 ad dollars go toward direct-response efforts

May 21, 2015

The financial services industry is the third-largest in the US in terms of digital ad spending, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Financial Services Industry 2015: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends,” part of our new report series, “Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry.” This year, digital ad spending by financial services firms will be up 14.5% to reach $7.19 billion, or 12.3% of all digital outlays in the US.

US Financial Services Industry Digital Ad Spending, 2013-2019 (billions, % of total digital ad spending and % change)

Digital ad spending by the financial services industry will continue growing at double-digit rates through 2018, but that growth will be below the average for all industries. That means financial services will lose share of all US digital ad spending, dropping from 12.3% of the total this year to 11.9% by 2019, eMarketer estimates.

Digital spending by the financial services industry skews toward direct response; just 38% of digital dollars this year will go toward branding-oriented ads.

US Financial Services Industry Digital Ad Spending, by Objective, 2015 (billions and % of total)

“I think that the shift from direct mail to digital is going to be more aggressive and more rapid than from TV to digital,” said Gil Biegacz, director of category strategy and financial services at programmatic ad firm Rocket Fuel. “It’s not really that brand is losing to direct response; there’s more direct mail dollars shifting to digital than TV.”

But there is also acknowledgement that the lines continue to blur between what is characterized as branding and what is considered direct response when it comes to digital advertising—especially with the emergence of new formats and tactics.

Financial services digital ad spending is almost evenly split between desktop and laptop PCs and mobile devices; this year, 48.5% of spending will go toward impressions served on mobile devices.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

Download the executive summary of the report here.

eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.


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