Digital Advertising Expenditure By Industry

Digital’s penetration within the advertising market is growing rapidly and with that, so too is the amount of money advertisers are actually spending. A recent report released by eMarketer highlights how US industries will spend over $58 billion on paid advertising in 2015.

In this report, digital ad spending has been broken down into each industry specifically, thus giving us a clear insight into specific industry strategies, including the future of advertising spends and expected trends.

While this is a US specific report, we are seeing similar trends being embraced here in Australia and expect them to follow suit even more so throughout 2015.



We selected the following four industries and looked at their specific ad expenditure – Retail, Automotive, Travel & Entertainment.


  • The retail industry spends the most on digital advertising in the US coming in at 22% of the total. What is interesting is more than half of this is directed at mobile devices. This highlights how more customers are seeking product research and making purchases on their mobile.
  • Furthermore it is noted that retail stands above other industries in terms of their digital video ad spending, which is becoming a very attractive medium to gain customers attention. The majority of these advertisements are using direct response methods to initiate sales (70%), over that of brand awareness objectives (30%).


  • The automotive industry has also increased their digital advertising strategies, with 35% spent on mobile advertising this year. This is an important shift for the automotive industry as consumers are now performing research via their mobile devices. Furthermore, it is noted that marketing strategies are focusing on direct response tactics (60%) to attract vehicle buyers to purchase while they are in-market, with the following 40% focusing on strategies such as high budget TV campaigns to promote brand awareness.

Volkwagen’s ‘Charge Up’ app is a great example of how the automotive industry are harnessing their digital advertising presence. Watch the video:

Ladeapp from Try/Apt on Vimeo.


  • The travel industry has seen a huge amount of growth in their digital spending, as the report highlights this is faster than almost all other US industries. Consumer purchasing trends have also shifted to mobile over that of PC searches. Direct response objectives have been favorable, due to the focus on digital purchases.

Media and entertainment:

  • Another industry we found particularly interesting was the Media and Entertainment sector. eMarketer’s report highlights that this industry will grow faster than any other sector. This report does not touch specifically on the reasoning behind this growth, however this may be due to the increase in double screening, as mobile is a favourable advertising medium in this industry and many people are on their mobile phones as they watch television. What this highlights is the importance of integrating television and online advertising campaigns, as consumer behaviour trends are shifting to multiple media platforms.
multiple screens

Is everyone double screening?

  • The media and entertainment industry do however differ in their advertising strategies. It is noted that the entertainment industry use brand awareness approaches, such as releasing campaigns months prior to a film’s release. Whereas media tend to use methods in order to harness a direct response.

Out of these four industries, it’s clear that ad dollars are being spent with a mobile-first approach, definitely the right direction given consumer behaviour.

Will you be adopting any of these digital spending trends to stand out in your industry?

copyright FRANk Media 2018