BIA: Local Marketers to Hold Steady on 2019 Ad Budgets

BY Kathy Crosett
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Advertising continues to deliver for businesses in local markets. The results of BIA Advisory Services’ U.S. SAM™ Survey of Advertising and Marketing indicate that marketers will continue to invest in advertising formats that generate the best results. For many, those formats are digital and mobile. 

BIA’s survey encompasses about 1,500 marketers. These marketers all purchase advertising in local markets. And while some of these businesses are locally-​owned, others are local branches of large businesses.

Who's Spending More and Less

About 55.3% of all marketers plan to maintain ad spending this year, but at least 35.2% will spend more. A deep dive into the findings reveals some differences by industry vertical. Here are the verticals that plan to boost ad spending the most in 2019:

  • Entertainment 50.9% (50.9% of surveyed businesses in this sector will spend more)
  • Financial services 44.6%
  • Technology 37.1%

Businesses in other verticals aren’t feeling quite as expansive about new advertising investment:

  • Home/​Trade services 28.1%
  • Retail 24.3%
  • Professional services 20.1%

Even when marketers aren’t spending more on advertising, they’re likely to shift a bigger piece of their budget into digital and mobile. BIA analysts point out that mobile is big with local market advertisers. The 13% of businesses that don’t currently use the format will start exploring mobile this year. 

Fresh Focus on Audience Data

Marketers know they need to target potential customers beyond broad demographic categories. With so much data now available, they want to know more about a customer's purchase path. Consumers who purchase specific products often spend time on related websites. Or they may have visited social sites to check out reviews as part of their process. You can help clients understand audience behavior and where to advertise by checking out the Digital Audit tool, available at AdMall from SalesFuel​.com.

If you’ve already established a relationship with a business through selling traditional media, here’s more good news from the BIA survey. These buyers are comfortable buying digital from you, too. So be prepared to pitch a campaign that covers multiple media formats.