Digital Ad Spend to Surpass Traditional in 2019

First, mobile access of websites surpassed desktop usage. Now, digital advertising spend is expected to surpass traditional ad spend in 2019. While digital advertising has been around for a while, this shift represents the monumental opportunity for your company to increase digital marketing efforts to grow your business.

According to an industry report from, the annual digital advertising spend is expected to grow 19 percent this year to a total of $129.34 billion.

The estimated total represents 54.2 percent of total U.S. advertising spend, compared to 45.8 percent for traditional marketing.

It’s a significant shift from 2018, when traditional ad spend clung to the majority of ad spend with 51.4 percent of the annual total.

Where are the Ad Dollars Going?

The biggest shift from traditional to digital advertising is happening on paper. (Sorry Dunder Mifflin.)

According to the report, ad spend on physical directories such as the Yellow Pages is expected to decline 19 percent from 2018. Additionally, ad spending in print form such as newspapers and magazines is expected to decline 18 percent.

– Where is that money going? Online. Google AdWords. Facebook boosting. LinkedIn Ads. Instagram advertising (mainly for B2C). YouTube video advertising. Even Amazon advertising.

– What’s driving this change? Mobility. There are so many more opportunities to reach the exact prospect or customer you are targeting through online advertising, search engines, and social media platforms.

With traditional advertising, there is little control over your ability to reach specific customers. With digital advertising, you can adjust campaigns on the fly, target specific personas with a specific message at a specific time, and use data to drive decision-making in real-time.

Essentially, you get more value for each dollar spent trying to convert prospects into customers.

How to Connect Digital Ad Spend to Digital Marketing

The starting point for achieving value from your digital advertising spend is an effective and strategic digital marketing plan.

Digital marketing is the engine that drives business growth. It sets the framework for how to market your brand and connect with your audience.

  • Brand Assessment helps identify your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, positioning in your market or industry, and comparison to competitors.
  • Brand Positioning helps identify the opportunities in the market to increase your reach and better target your audience.
  • Buyer’s Journey helps identify the actions taken by each of your buyer personas throughout the process of making a purchase decision.
  • Content and Messaging Strategy helps identify how to communicate with each persona during each stage of the buyer’s journey with a specific piece of content (email, case study, social post, blog, etc.) that aligns with your brand.

Once the framework is established, you can identify opportunities to create campaigns, specific pieces of content, and other deliverables that engage your audience.

This may include digital ad spend on LinkedIn ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, or other forms of digital advertising opportunities to better target your desired customers.

The key is making sure the digital ad spend fits within the framework of your digital marketing plan. Without a plan, you’re just wasting ad dollars.

With a plan for your digital ad spend, you can achieve these goals:

  • Ability to determine the most likely platforms that will lead to success.
  • Knowledge of where to shift resources in real-time (e.g. more LinkedIn ads).
  • Clear ROI measurement of business growth compared to ad spend.
  • Ability to “turn up the volume” on specific campaigns that are fueling growth.

Work with Marketing Refresh to Create Your Digital Marketing Strategy

If your company is thinking about following the trend to shift ad spend from traditional to digital, start with our agency to create a digital marketing plan.

Our team enjoys the opportunity to work with new brands and create a roadmap for success. Then, once the plan is set, our team continues to manage your brand, campaigns, and content delivery.

We constantly review the data to see what’s working, strategize new opportunities to connect with your audience, and make sure you get the most out of your marketing budget and digital ad spend. Then, we measure the results and celebrate business growth!

Contact our digital marketing agency today to discuss your brand and current ad spend. We will aim to make your advertising budget go further when connected to an effective digital marketing plan.

James Caldwell

written by...

James Caldwell

James Caldwell is a copywriter for Marketing Refresh. This native Houstonian loves to write, watch sports, and partake in delicious food.

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