Blog Post

Desktop Search Still Where Most Online Ad Dollars Spent


Digital marketing advertising spend continues to grow! Desktop search is still where most online ad dollars are being spent. Watch this Daily Brown Bag to learn about these trends, as supported by data released (in a recent report) by the Internet Ad Bureau (IAB) & PricewaterhouseCoopers. You'll also learn where search and mobile fit into the picture, and tips that can help you if you're thinking about white labelling SEO or PPC, and becoming a reseller.

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TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be covering the Internet Revenue Report for 2014. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. We have a lot of data to pour through here, Chad. This is data that people really like to keep tabs on. We say that the Internet is still a growth market, and, today, this report from The Internet Ad Bureau (IAB) & PricewaterhouseCoopers really does show some of that data and the trends are continuing.

Digital marketing advertising spend continues to grow:

Specifically, what we’re reporting on today is the Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2014, and what it’s showing, Chad, is that U.S. spend hit a new record high at $49.5 billion in 2014. That’s up from $42.8 billion in 2013.

So the digital marketing advertising spend continues to grow. I don’t think that’s a terrific surprise to any of us. We know this is a growth market. We know yellow pages and a lot of traditional print media are declining, and we see digital ad spend increasing. What gets more interesting (and as we’ve been predicting for many years now, Chad) is to see exactly where the growth is.

The Biggest Growth: Mobile & Social

Mobile and social are seeing the biggest growth. Again, not a big surprise. We’ve been talking about it for years, saying that it’s coming.

  • Mobile saw a 76% increase in dollar spend over 2013. That’s a whopping change, just a massive accelerator.

  • Social media advertising also had a 57% increase over 2013.

  • Traditional search saw some growth, but it was only 3%, so that is flattening out. Although search is still where most of the money is spent.

  • Thirty-eight percent of the money -- which is $18.4 billion -- is a very large market, and it’s still spent there.

  • Desktop is still very healthy -- about 20% of the market share.

  • Mobile is the third.

Really, I think that headlines here that mobile and social ( we’ve been saying for a long time that they are coming) are taking over a bigger piece of the pie.Overall, the pie is still expanding. We’re in a growth market, but the way the dollars are spent are starting to shift as has been predicted.

Yeah, Adam. Actually, Danny Sullivan, who wrote an article on Marketing Land, unpacked this a little bit and said that the way the IAB accounted for some of the mobile revenue…if it allocated that to search vs. display, it would have come back that that growth you talked about -- that 3% -- would have been higher if you were just looking at search advertising. So I guess the question is: Are people moving away from search engines to apps on mobile phones and social media? The 3% actually did grow a little bit more if you account for what happened on mobile.

Search: Desktop & Mobile Search

In fact, if you take the amount of desktop search and mobile search and add it together, it accounts for over 50% of the market share and of the revenue. So if you just look at the health of search marketing, it’s still very healthy. I think that really segues into, what would our advice be for our typical Main Street customer that we work with and that our resellers work with?

The biggest change here is really some of that growth in social, and I think the place that efforts have been most effective is on Facebook. A couple of years ago, we did a lot of Facebook experimentation. The platform really wasn’t quite ready for prime time. In the last year to year-and-a-half, they’ve added a lot of options. Facebook especially has a lot of options that allow you to use Facebook for retargeting, to give you more granular on the way that you target people. For some clients and a lot of Main Street customers that deal with consumers, Facebook has become a much more effective place to spend your ad dollars. But, again, what we typically recommend is going to the search advertising first; it tends to have the highest intent to convert to leads, and most small businesses are looking for those leads.They’re not really as concerned about building brand and educating. But, if you have maxed out your search, and you’re looking for ways to grow your advertising programs, social is certainly one.

Two other mentions really quick as we wind this up… One thing is that I think Twitter is still having a hard time. We just saw a report come out that there was a lot of disappointment. Twitter is not really talking about their advertiser retention, so they definitely have some issues on there. We’ll see what they do. They may be able to turn this around.

If you remember, Facebook had some disappointing first few revenue reports and then they were really able to turn and figure out how to build their advertising base. So we’ll have to see what happens with Twitter.

And then LinkedIn -- actually for a lot of our clients it does pretty well, especially when you have a very good content asset, a good linkable piece of content. It’s a great way of spreading the word. The overall state of the industry is that it’s healthy, and we look forward to helping people out with that.

Takeaways On Digital Advertising, PPC & White Label SEO

Yeah, it’s a great set of data, and it confirms our message. We were just at a local conference, Chad, in Upstate New York yesterday. We were at a physical conference with a booth, talking to folks (believe it or not) still in the print industry and trying to figure out where they can move their business as print is drying up. Print advertising has been slowing down for years. And they were asking me these great questions: Should I jump over into digital advertising? Has the train already left the station?

And I told them, it has, in some regard, but you can catch it. Things move slower than people think. We’re still growing. We’re still on the upswing of this migration, and I anticipate that will continue. For a lot of folks still in these traditional advertising channels, moving over into a digital advertising channel, thinking about white labelling SEO or PPC, and becoming a reseller, is still -- I think this data confirms it -- a very smart move to promote the longevity of their business.

That’s our Brown Bag for today. We really appreciate you being here, and, as always, we’d love it if you share our videos or subscribe. We’ll see you back real soon.