Social, Video, Search Ad Growth Rate Expectations Up for 2018

December 12, 2017

Media, marketing and advertising executives around the world remain enthusiastic about the prospects for both social and mobile, according to AdMedia Partners’ 24th Annual Market Survey [pdf]. Some 85% of the respondents to the survey, which polled more than 5,500 executives, expect social ad buying and spending to increase by more than 10%.

That’s up from 71% who felt that social ad transactions would increase by that much in last year’s survey.

Earlier this year the IAB reported that social ad spending in the US grew by 49% year-over-year in 2016.

Mobile marketing has the next-highest growth expectations in the AdMedia survey, with 76% expecting at least a 10% gain in 2018. However, growth projections have slightly tempered from last year.

By contrast, more respondents this year see at least a 10% increase in video advertising spending on the horizon: 69% expect that to be the case in 2018, versus 62% who felt that way about video coming into this year.

Search advertising – while more mature – seems to have had the largest surge in optimism. This year almost half (47%) expect search ad buying and selling to increase by at least 10% in 2018. That compares with one-third who projected an increase of that magnitude last year.

Environment Ripe for M&A

With growth rate expectations for digital advertising generally more buoyant than they were last year, the M&A environment also seems to be improving. This year 77% would advise prospective buyers to act now, up from 71% last year. Moreover, 82% would advise sellers to act now, up from 66% last year and the highest figure in the survey’s history dating back to 2002.

In terms of expansion interest, analytics is the clear favorite, as 71% of respondents (up from 65% last year) report that this is an area of interest for expansion or acquisition. This makes sense given rising spending on analytics, which is getting renewed attention from CMOs.

There’s also a fair amount of expansion or acquisition interest present for social/mobile marketing, design/user experience, and marketing/strategic consulting, whereas ad tech and market research hold less appeal.

About the Data: The results are based on a Q4 2017 survey of more than 5,500 domestic and international executives in advertising, marketing services, digital marketing, marketing technology, media technology, media or digital media. The vast majority (78%) of respondents come from companies with $50 million or less in annual revenue.

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