Local Ad Spend to Remain Flat in 2019; Mobile, Social Ad Spend to Rise, Says Survey

CHANTILLY, Va.—Most local advertisers around the country will hold steady on their ad spending and media allocations this year, a new BIA reveals.

The forecast, part of the newly released U.S. SAM Survey of Advertising and Marketing, projects that amusement parks, sports teams, movie theaters and other entertainment venues are the only advertisers that will spend slightly more this year. Retailers, service professionals and home/trade service advertisers are expected to maintain their ad spend.

When it comes to platforms, advertisers have expressed a willingness to bump up their ad spend on mobile and social.

“Over the past several years, our research indicates that advertisers are more focused on personalized, targeted communications, and they believe mobile and social deliver on important customer engagement KPIs,” said Celine Matthiessen, BIA's VP of Analysis and Insights and SAM study director.

The survey also revealed an important shift in the priorities of advertisers. It found advertisers are interested in more than basic demographic targeting; they want insight into the behavior of consumers as they make their path to a purchase.

Advertisers want to know the websites and social pages consumers have visited and their searches that have led to their buying products and services, the SAM survey said.

As a result, ad sellers have an obligation to show how their channel reaches the right customers throughout the buying process in a trackable manner, it said.

The area of location-targeted ads is the category of mobile with the greatest growth. According to the findings, just 13 percent of businesses surveyed said they were not spending money on mobile advertising, but planned to do so this year.

Across all business categories, 35.5 percent of businesses use mobile location-aware, while 24 percent use mobile search, the SAM survey revealed.

“Because businesses like the targeting (behavioral) opportunities that mobile and social offer, these platforms continue to show the largest signs of advertiser growth,” said Matthiessen.

The survey also found buyers of traditional media are “extremely comfortable” buying digital ads from their local sales person, “so sellers should be prepared to sell offers across multiple platforms,” she said.

Social and mobile media, email, video, display and SEO are the most popular digital ads purchased via traditional channels, the survey said.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.