Local ad sales should be strong this year, according to survey results from AdMall. The survey of 1,181 media sales professionals finds 89.3% projecting revenue increases of some degree this year, compared to just 5.9% forecasting a decline. While most respondents expect increases of less than 10%, almost 1 in 4 project larger revenue gains, including 11.2% predicting increases of more than 15%. Recent research supports this bullish outlook. For example, a study from Borrell Associates found that SMBs will spend 8.5% more on local advertising this year, while survey results from Balihoo indicate that almost 1 in 2 national brands will up their local marketing budgets.
The AdMall study reveals an increase in the percentage of local ad salespeople selling various digital products, which is consistent with the emphasis national brands are placing on digital efforts for their local marketing, per the Balihoo survey results. 37.6% of AdMall survey respondents said they are selling mobile advertising, up 48% from 25.4% the previous year. Similarly, 53.4% more are selling email (up to 36.2%), the percentage selling search engine marketing is up 68.4% (to 35.2%), and the proportion selling online video has grown by 43.3% (to 22.5%). Display/banner ads remain the most popular digital product sold, by 66% of respondents, up 10.9% from the previous year. Daily deals are the only identified product to decline in popularity, by 3%, to 29.2% of respondents.
- Roughly 7 in 10 respondents believe that healthcare spending will grow. Other advertising sectors seen as primed for growth include automotive (58.8% projecting a spending increase), retail (55.1%) and restaurants and food service (46%).
- The top challenges faced by account executives are: competition from other local media (58.9%); overcoming advertiser churn (declining revenue or lost accounts – 50.6%); and internal processes that consume too much time (35.4%).
About the Data: The AdMall 2013 Local Advertising Sales Forecast was conducted in December 2012. The sample size for this survey was 1,181 media sales professionals, including sales managers, account executives and marketing/research managers across all forms of local digital, print and electronic media.