Where Should Your Ad Dollars Go?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

It’s always a tricky task, cleverly allocating where your ad dollars should go, but a new study on advertising trends offers some stern guidance.


Advertising is normally one of the largest expenses that real estate agents accrue in their businesses, but it’s often an exercise in stress; after all, between newspapers, magazines, websites (both desktop and mobile), and physical ad spaces such as benches and billboards, where is an agent to advertise, given the overwhelming array of choices?

Thankfully, BIA/Kelsey, an advertising consultation firm, has just released a very interesting study of advertising mediums, and has made some bold predictions on what forms will receive the most attention in the coming years.

New Age Advertising – It’s a Web Thing

Here were the major findings in BIA/Kelsey’s research, which projects the advertising landscape from 2012 to 2017:

  • Local media advertising revenues are expected to climb from $132.5 billion to $148.8 billion by 2017, a 12.3 percent increase.
  • Interestingly, though, national brands will primarily drive that growth, with their share of local media ads rising from $42.5 billion to $51 billion; that’s a 20 percent uptick, compared to an expected 9 percent hike in local brand spending.
  • Digital media will also increase its share of local media revenues, boosting from 17.4 percent in 2012 to 27.6 percent in 2017, or, $41.1 billion in advertising.
  • Also, spending on mobile advertising is expected to rise six-fold to $6.4 billion by 2017; though online ads will increase by 46.5 percent, total spending will only be $6.3 percent.
  • And sadly, while all this digital exploration is taking place, traditional advertising – think newspapers, magazines, the yellow pages – will see flat or slightly negative revenues, and will settle in 2017 at $107.6 billion.

Keep Your Eye on the Mobile Prize

The message of BIA/Kelsey’s findings, though, go far beyond the “print is dead” meme; rather, as Mark Fratrik, the chief economist at BIA/Kelsey, explained to Inc.’s Samuel Wagreich, mobile technology, and its hyper-specific nature, represents the future of advertising.

“Mobile’s the explosion – just in the way it affords advertisers the ability to target people in specific locations at specific times,” Fatrik said. “If you want to advertise something like a lunch special, most working people can’t be reached by local TV or radio, and they’re not necessarily reading the newspaper. But they have a mobile device that can display an ad at 11:15 for french fries at the McDonalds that’s three blocks away. And boy, that’s the great aspect of it.”

Or, thinking in terms of real estate, an open house at noon? or a brokers’ open at 3 p.m.? Or a new listing that just hit the market, and that you’re now taking calls for?

If BIA/Kelsey’s research shows us anything, it’s that mobile advertising is not going anywhere – and that we ignore its rise at our own peril!

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