Encouraged by positive returns from previous digital marketing campaigns, panelists continued to step-up their adoption of internet advertising during the latest quarter. The Q1 survey results indicated that internet marketing spend was raised for a 35th successive quarter at the start of 2018, albeit at a slower rate.
Whilst once again the strongest of all Bellwether categories, the net balance of +8.7% was the lowest recorded by the survey since the end of 2015. Within this category, search/SEO expenditure also grew at a slower rate, with the net balance falling to +5.6% from +12.4% in Q4 2017. Meanwhile, there was a stagnation in mobile advertising observed, with an equal proportion of marketers revising their budgets up to those indicating a fall, resulting in a net balance of +0.0%, from +6.0% in Q4 2017. Spending in mobile failed to rise for the first time in a year and a half (+0.0%, from +6.0%).
The effect of GDPR on ad spend is already starting to show, even before the regulation takes force. Andy Evans, CMO, Sovrn, agrees that GDPR will make the Q2 Bellwether report particularly interesting: “Clearly, ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and GDPR will have contributed to the slowing down of budgets in Q1. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Q2 once GDPR is live from the 25th of May and some solid plans around Brexit are locked down. With company financial prospects remaining positive, however, there is hope for future growth and improved industry financial prospects going forward. In my opinion, this is likely to be a ‘bump in the road’ for an industry faced with an unpredictable economic climate.“
Read the whole article here: Muted Ad Spend Ahead of GDPR – The Industry Reacts
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