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ZenithOptimedia study reveals internet ad spend is climbing (and climbing)

Ana­lysts from the Pub­li­cis-owned New York adver­tis­ing agency ZenithOp­ti­me­dia have pro­duced new fig­ures show­ing that glob­al ad spend this year is on course to reach a total of $503 bil­lion – an expan­sion of 3.5 per cent. But hard­work­ing U.S. busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers may be pleased to hear that ad spend on dig­i­tal is set to rise from last year’s 19 per cent to 21.8 per­cent in 2013 (that’s $109.7 billion).

Inter­net and mobile do well

While inter­net adver­tis­ing is doing well, the prize for most extra­or­di­nary growth rate has to go to mobile: with ad spend grow­ing at 81 per­cent in the US mar­ket this year, mobile is expand­ing sev­en times faster than inter­net desk­top adver­tis­ing, chiefly due to the mas­sive uptake of tablets and smartphones.

ZenithOptimedia’s North Amer­i­ca CEO, Tim Jones, said:

“After years of hype, mobile adver­tis­ing has final­ly arrived. Its impor­tance will only grow over the next few years as adver­tis­ers and agen­cies get to grips with the oppor­tu­ni­ties it offers, and improve its abil­i­ty to mea­sure and deliv­er return on investment.”

The main focus of the agency’s analy­sis, as the can­ny busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er can prob­a­bly already tell, is what’s hap­pen­ing to adver­tis­ing in the U.S., the sin­gle biggest mar­ket for adver­tis­ing on the plan­et. And the analy­sis is pret­ty unam­bigu­ous when it comes to who’s get­ting the lion’s share of adver­tis­ing spend: yup, at 40 per cent of the total in 2012, it’s still tele­vi­sion, despite internet’s rise. The ana­lysts believe this will shrink by a tiny 0.5 per cent by 2015, a trend not lost on Twit­ter, which is con­cen­trat­ing hard on grow­ing its mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing ser­vices in align­ment with the tele­vi­sion industry.

Inter­net ad spend will expand further

Even so, inter­net spend has now passed the halfway-mark rel­a­tive to TV and we could well see the gap slow­ly but pro­gres­sive­ly nar­row­ing in the years ahead. And it’s cer­tain­ly grow­ing faster than any of the tra­di­tion­al media, accord­ing to this study: desk­top ad spend is on course for an 8 per­cent expan­sion between 2013 and 2014 and a 7 per cent expan­sion in 2015, while dis­play remains the fastest ris­ing sub­group, thanks large­ly to the rise and rise of social media and online video advertising.

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers from coast to coast will find these trends dis­tinct­ly gratifying.

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