Advertisers Looking to Spend on Online Ad Networks

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45% of online advertisers plan to spend at least one-quarter of their digital ad budgets on ad networks this year, according to [pdf] February 2012 survey results from ValueClick, and roughly one-quarter plan to increase their budgets for the networks. This finding is mirrored by Advertiser Perceptions’ Fall 2011 Advertiser Intelligence Report survey results also released in February, which found that 35% of major advertisers plan to increase their online ad network spending, up from 31% for the Spring 2011 survey.

Publishers Also to Get Dollars

Data from the ValueClick survey indicates that 40% of digital advertisers plan to spend at least one-quarter of their budgets on direct publisher buys, while 37% expect to spend at least that much on SEM/SEO. SEM/SEO leads among budget increases though, with 35% saying they will allocate more of their budgets to this channel, compared to 21% for direct publisher placements. Meanwhile, according to Advertiser Perceptions, 38% of advertisers overall (not just digital) plan to increase their spending on publishers (content), representing a 31% increase from 29% who expected a budget hike for publishers in the Spring survey.

Mobile Spend Growing Fast

An impressive 65% of digital advertisers plan to increase their spending on mobile this year, compared to just 3% who expect a decrease in spending. This trend is also supported by Advertiser Perceptions results, which found a 60% point gap between respondents increasing and decreasing ad spending in the next 12 months, the highest out of any channels, be they digital or traditional.

In fact, 87% of respondents to the ValueClick survey plan to use mobile advertising in their marketing plan this year, including 90% of agency respondents. Standard display ads (94%) are the most prevalent form of mobile advertising planned for use, followed by rich media (53%) and mobile video (40%). In terms of measuring the performance of their mobile campaigns, most chose traffic (63%), with brand engagement (54%), brand awareness (52%), and direct response (51%) not far behind.

Other Findings:

  • Roughly half of online advertisers plan to increase their spending on video advertising this year, and about three-quarters will utilize this form of advertising in their marketing plan. Pre-roll (83%) ads are the most popular type of video ads planned by respondents, ahead of in-banner (68%), interactive pre-roll (57%), and mobile video (53%).
  • The top factors considered by online advertisers when choosing a media partner are performance/ROI (75%), audience targeting (58%), and price (48%).
  • The most important types of targeting for digital advertisers’ campaigns are audience based (61%), demographic (59%), contextual (57%), and retargeting (55%).
  • According to Advertiser Perceptions, there is a 21% point gap between respondents increasing and decreasing ad spending in the next 12 months, the highest after digital (net – 52%) and mobile (60%). By contrast, national newspapers have a negative 18% point gap in advertising spending forecasts.

About the Data: The ValueClick survey was fielded from November 14, 2011 through December 2, 2011. 267 respondents completed the survey, 60% of whom have more than 5 years experience in online advertising. 71% were agency professionals, and 26% were client-side marketing professionals.

The Advertiser Intelligence Report Wave 16 represents the media plans and perceptions of more than 1,200 US media decision makers surveyed in October through November of 2011. They have an average of 6.8 years of involvement in media decisions. The sample represents a cross-section of leading US advertisers by ad category and media type.

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