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Research: Brand Ads Will Outpace Direct Response Online in 2012

Published on January 11, 2012

Digiday has released some compelling research about online ad spend budgets in 2012. According to a survey of 450 digital marketing and media professionals, brand advertising will overtake direct response online for the first time. Among their findings:

  • 64% of marketers will increase their online brand ad budgets in 2012;
  • 22% will increase spending by more than 20 percent;
  • 60% of marketers are allocating money away from direct response to brand advertising;
  • 69% of brand marketers will increase their spends in mobile advertising, 63% in social, and 57% in video.

As Forbes sees it, online ad channels like Facebook, YouTube and mobile phones have paved the way for online advertising to be “A much more mainstream activity for brand advertisers for which TV remains far and away the medium of choice.”According to the survey, marketers expect the same metrics online as they get offline, and then a few more. Of those metrics, 80% value brand lift; 57% expect sales increase; 31% expect increased interaction rates, and 29% expect higher click-throughs and shares and reposts.

“Prepare for greater scrutiny,” Digiday warns media sellers. “Only 6% of brands and 16% of agencies surveyed said they “strongly believe” media sellers’ claims that they can reach the custom or niche audiences that brands seek.”

Forbes adds the caveat that the report was sponsored by ad technology company Vizu; but sees the report as another indication of online ads going mainstream.