Digiday+ Research: Brands, retailers spend a lot more on online marketing than agencies

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Online marketing spend dominates its offline counterpart — no surprise there. But what might come as a surprise is that marketers across the board actually increased their spend in the last year (just like publishers), and that brands and retailers spent a lot more on online marketing than agencies.

This is according to a Digiday+ Research survey of 99 agency, brand and retailer professionals.

Digiday’s survey found that pretty much all marketers increased their marketing spend in the last 12 months. Forty-five percent of agency pros said their companies increased marketing spending somewhat or significantly in the last year, and 46% of brand and retailer pros said the same. In comparison, just 19% of agencies said their marketing spend decreased over the same period, while 30% of brands and retailers said their marketing spend decreased.

Looking more closely at the data, it’s important to note that much of the increase in marketing spend wasn’t necessarily significant. About a third of marketers (35% of agencies and 30% of brands and retailers) said their companies increased their marketing spending just somewhat. Meanwhile, 10% of agencies and 16% of brands and retailers said they increased marketing spend significantly.

Digiday’s survey also found that, when it came to allocating their increased marketing spending over the last year, pretty much all marketers put the emphasis on online marketing over offline marketing — although the vast majority of agencies, brands and retailers did invest in both online and offline tactics. A full three-quarters of agency pros said their companies invested at least a small amount in online marketing in the last 12 months, and 95% of brand and retailer pros said the same. Meanwhile, 67% of agencies and 89% of brands and retailers invested at least a little in offline marketing.

A notable difference that emerged between agencies and their brand and retailer counterparts involved exactly how much went toward online marketing spend — namely that brands and retailers spent a lot more on online marketing than agencies in the last year. The largest percentage of agency respondents to Digiday’s survey said their companies invested just a small amount on online marketing in the last 12 months (40% said this). Those who said their companies invested a large amount in online marketing came in a distant second at just under a quarter (24%).

Meanwhile, the largest percentage of brand and retailer respondents said their companies invested a large amount in online marketing in the last 12 months (43% of brands and retailers said this). And those who said their companies invested a medium amount in online marketing came in a close second at 39%. Only 14% of brands and retailers said their companies invested just a small amount in online marketing last year.

When it came to offline marketing spend, agencies, brands and retailers were fairly aligned in that the largest percentage of both groups said their companies invested a small amount in offline marketing in the last 12 months. Thirty-seven percent of agency pros said they invested a small amount in offline marketing in the last year, and exactly half of brand and retailer pros said the same.

Looking forward to the coming year, Digiday’s survey found that about half of all marketers expect to grow their marketing spend even further. Forty-nine percent of agency respondents said they expect marketing spending to increase the most in the next 12 months, and 46% of brand and retailer respondents said the same.

And the emphasis will continue to be on online marketing tactics over offline ones. Two-thirds of agency pros (66%) and more than three-quarters of brand and retailer pros (77%) said they expect their companies to invest in online marketing the most in the next year. In comparison, just 27% of agencies and an even smaller 16% of brands and retailers said they expect their companies to invest in offline marketing the most in the coming year.

https://digiday.com/?p=515742

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