Online Ads Hold Their Own

Online ad spending has seen a steady rise over the years. eMarketer estimates the total US online ad spending is at $39.5 billion in 2012, and will reach $62 billion by 2016.

A May 2012 survey by RSW/US, a business development company, reveals that 44% of respondents will spend at least half of their total marketing budget on digital media in 2012. In 2009, this figure stood at 31%.

Among the different digital capabilities adopted by the marketers to engage their targeted audience, web development remains the favorite. 87% of marketers chose this medium in 2012, a big jump from 54% in 2009. Next comes online advertising, which has had the most significant growth in recent times. Only 37% of marketers advertised online in 2009, but this has now grown to 74%.

Among other capabilities, 55% of markers now involve themselves in digital or social media planning, and 43% of marketers now produce videos.

Although the recent surge in popularity in web development and online ads has opened up a whole new avenue for marketers, it has come at the expense of several other activities. Mediums such as offering strategic consulting (20% in 2009 and 16% in 2012), blog content development (29% in 2009 and 28% in 2012) and blog monitoring (29% in 2009 and 28% in 2012). All three have declined in popularity over the last three years.

The rise in popularity of online ads is due to the increase in effectiveness of this medium as an engagement tool. Online ads have grown from traditional text boxes and banner ads to sport many innovative designs and styles and have even become interactive. The development of the web analytics industry that enable marketers to place ads in the right context and at the right situation, without seeming to intrude on the web users normal activity, plays a big part in increasing the effectiveness of online ads.

What is your experience with ads? Have you used them to increase leads?