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Marketers Spend Wildly on Digital Advertising

Marketers are doubling down on digital advertising, as evidenced by a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). U.S. advertisers invested $17.6 billion in digital advertising in the third quarter of 2016, according to IAB’s quarterly Internet Advertising Revenue Report. It is the highest third quarter on record for digital advertising spending, representing a 20% increase over the same time period in 2015 and a 4.3% jump over Q2 2016.

“The momentum of advertising in mobile, digital video and other innovative formats is undeniable,” David Doty, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at IAB, said in a press release. “These record-setting third quarter revenue figures reflect marketers’ trust in the internet’s power to connect with today’s audiences.”

In the IAB’s half-year report, the organization found that mobile ads comprised 47% of all digital advertising in the first half of 2016, compared to just 30% in the first half of 2015. Search results advertising decreased from 37% in 2015’s first half to 27% in 2016.

Since 2008, mobile and digital video advertising are the only digital ad formats to grow, while search, banner ads, classifieds and lead generation have declined each year.

Although marketers are increasing their investment, a study earlier this month by IBM and the CMO Council found that 38% feel digital strategies have mixed results. Only 7% of marketers surveyed said digital strategies exceeded their expectations.

“Marketing really needs to step into that role of being the change agent, having the data that proves it’s worth it, that it’s actually improving and moving the bottom line,” said Liz Miller, senior vice president at the CMO Council.

Despite their confusion, 42% of marketers surveyed said their top digital experience goal in 2017 is to better connect their campaigns into a comprehensive experience that drives engagement.

“Digital has become a critical part of advertisers’ marketing strategies,” said David Silverman, a partner at PwC US, which helped conduct the study with the IAB. “Increasing media consumption on interactive screens will surely lead to even more investment in the digital landscape.”