Friday Research Wrap, 5/6/16

May 6, 2016

AdAge-Digital-Share-Agency-Revenue-2009-2015-May2016US agency revenues grew by 6.5% to a new high of $46.8 billion last year, details Ad Age in its latest annual Agency Report, based on an analysis of more than 1,000 agencies, agency networks and agency companies. Digital revenues grew at more than twice the rate of overall revenues, up 13.5% to $19.3 billion, which represents 41.3% of all agency revenues for the year.

Looking at other disciplines, healthcare agency revenues were also fast-growing, increasing by 8.7% to an estimated $4.8 billion. Media agencies (excluding digital work) were the only discipline to post a decline in revenues, of 2.6%.

The following is a brief list of intriguing data points sourced from recent research.

  • Digital investments may be growing, but GroupM cautions in its Interaction 2016 report that “we are not now, nor have we ever been, in ‘steady state’ with digital advertising,” pointing to the “effectiveness of these investments [being] impaired by problems with the integrity of digital supply including fraud, viewability and measurement…” Nevertheless, GroupM forecasts digital advertising to comprise 31% of all measured advertising investment in media, up from 28% last year.
  • Facebook is gobbling up a sizable share of digital advertising revenue. In its latest earnings release covering Q1 2016, the social platform revealed that its ad revenues grew by an impressive 57% year-over-year to $5.2 billion. Mobile ad revenues was up by 75% year-over-year to $4.2 billion, comprising 82% of total Facebook advertising revenues. The company also disclosed that it had almost 1 billion (989 million) mobile daily active users during Q1, and that it consistently saw 1 billion daily mobile active users.
  • The share of US households using only a mobile device to go online is increasingly rapidly, according to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA). Indeed, 1 in 5 homes relied exclusively on mobile service at home to access the internet in 2015, double the proportion from 2013. While the use of wired technologies for high-speed internet remains the dominant method for going online in the home, the incidence of wired home broadband use dropped from 82% in 2013 to 75% last year.
  • Switching gears, a recent Act-On survey [download page] of hundreds of senior B2B and B2C marketers has found that the top performance indicators shared by brand marketing, demand generation and customer marketing are: revenue generated; return on investment; website traffic; and leads generated. Of course, measuring ROI isn’t so easy…
  • Both brands and retailers see substantial lifts in conversion rates and revenues per visitor when those customers interact with consumer-generated content (CGC) prior to making a purchase, says Bazaarvoice in a recent study. Indeed, online reviews – a form of CGC – have a strong impact on purchase decisions, per MarketingCharts’ own primary research.
  • When it comes to making purchases, adults are about as likely to buy online (46%) as they are to buy in-person at a store (47%), per results from a Shullman Research Center survey [download page]. Interestingly, consumers’ likelihood to buy online as opposed to in-store appears to increase alongside income. (Side note: new MIT data suggests that the concept of online prices being cheaper than in-store is in fact a myth most of the time.) Meanwhile, the Shullman survey indicates that 62% of adult consumers shop at Amazon, and that of those, 41% are enrolled in Amazon Prime. A recent Forrester Research report estimates that Amazon accounted for 60% of e-commerce growth in 2015.
  • Moving on, an Adobe advertising study reported here by MediaPost indicates that since Google’s right hand rail ad removal, the fourth paid search ad position has become more promising in terms of click-through rates. Separately, a NetElixir study found that the change has resulted in higher costs-per-click for retailer product listing ads, but not for text ads.
  • Finally, in its 2016 Travel Report, Adobe Digital Index reveals that online travel bookings for flights and hotels will grow by 5.5% this year for Summer travel. Consumers surveyed for the report plan to spend less, though, with domestic trips being the primary vacation plan. While consumers perceive prices are staying steady or increasing, data shows that domestic flight prices are down on a year-over-year basis, though hotel prices have modestly increased. The study – available here – has more data on the best times to book airfare and hotels for pricing purposes.

Have a great weekend!


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