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Digital Ad Spend to Climb 14%, Social Media 35%

January 21, 2011

US direct and digital advertising expenditures are forecast to reach $163.9 billion in 2011, up 6.2% from 2010 levels, according to a report from the Winterberry Group. Of that total, digital spending is expected to reach $31.6 billion, up 14.0% from the previous year.

Within digital, social media ad spend is expected to increase more than 35%.

Among other high-growth areas, insert-media spending is forecast to increase 9.1% in 2011, to $0.9 billion, followed by direct-response broadcast, projected to grow 7.6%, to $25.4 billion.

Direct mail spending is expected to reach $47.8 billion in 2011, up 5.8%, driven by acquisition-mail increases. The category, which underwent a substantial market correction in 2009 (down 16.7% year over year), rebounded slightly in 2010, reaching $45.2 billion, up 3.1%.

Below, other findings from Winterberry's report titled Outlook 2011: What to Expect in Direct & Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing: 2010 Stats

Some $154.4 billion was spent on direct and digital advertising in 2010, up 2.7% over 2009 levels. Of that amount, digital spending accounted for $27.7 billion, driven by search and targeted display advertising:

  • Search spending accounted for 56.3% of digital spending in 2010, reaching $15.6 billion, up 6.4% from 2009 levels.
  • Display accounted for 33.6% of digital in 2010, reaching $9.3 billion, up 10.7%.
  • Email accounted for 5.1% of digital, reaching $1.4 billion, up 8.6%.
  • Mobile accounted for 3.2% of digital, reaching $0.9 billion in spending, up 30.8%.
  • Social apps and widgets, and listening platforms, together accounted for 1.4% of digital spending, reaching $0.4 billion, up 5.4%.
  • Lead generation spending accounted for 0.7% of digital, reaching $0.2 billion, up 5.5%.

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