Posted by: garyskidmore | February 8, 2015

2015 Begins with Focus on Data in Closely Watched Media Spend Projections

Biegel - Winterberry Group Media Projections Direct and Digital 2015

In early January each year is the Direct Marketing Club of New York’s “2015 Annual Outlook” presentation, where Bruce Biegel of The Winterberry Group looks at media spending for 2014, and projections for 2015, based on a variety of econometric variables and trends.

Two recent media stories – here and here – encapsulate some of the findings, and suffice it to say, 2015 is expected to be the best year in U.S. ad spending since the Great Recession, and may even surpass the all-time high, which is surprising in that there’s no World Cup, Olympics or major election this year.

Where The Winterberry Group (free registration) is most bullish, not unexpectedly, is with data-driven media spending (what it sees as below-the-line direct and digital), forecast to grow 7.3%, and overall digital spending growth of 16.3% to reach $64.2 billion. Across digital spend categories, mobile advertising (excluding mobile display and mobile search) is forecast to grow by 37.3% to $0.6 billion, social technology and services (excluding social display and social search) is forecast to grow 31.5% to $3.9 billion, and display (including desktop and mobile) will grow 21.1% to $28.3 billion, and search (including desktop and mobile) will grow 11.1% to reach $26.9 billion.

In comparison, above-the-line “measured media” spend will grow 1.53% – half the projected U.S. GDP growth – with modest increases expected in television, radio, outdoor and cinema spend, and slight decreases in print categories, magazines and newspapers. [Any growth is actually phenomenal here, being that there are no major “advertising” events other than the usual annual events, such as The Super Bowl, World Series and March Madness.]

According to Biegel, one the big drivers of digital spending growth is data, using data to increase “customer centricity” and to shift more media spend decisions to “audience buying” programmatic portals. In The Winterberry Group’s panel of marketing leaders, 92% say data is important to future marketing and advertising efforts (both client-side and agency-side respondents combined), with 80% noting the same for current marketing and advertising campaigns.

In 2014, programmatic display (banners, video, mobile, social) advertising exploded – moving from 24% of all digital display spend the prior year to 45% share. Audience, more than context, is the driver, as more and more CRM data (online and offline) newly flows in to audience-buying algorithms that have browsing behavior at their core.

Truly, data’s role in advertising is getting 2015 off to a great start.

Helpful Links:

The Winterberry Group (“2015 Annual Outlook” is downloadable after free registration):

Target Marketing: “Ad Spending Will Be ‘Highest Ever’ in 2015, Says Biegel”

Direct Marketing News: “Where Will Marketing Grow in 2015?”


The integration of off- and online data accelerated in 2014, and companies will continue to merge that data as more of them adopt data management platforms. DMPs are like an extension of a company’s marketing database, [Winterberry Group’s Bruce Biegel] said, noting that the integrated data helps marketers deliver a more relevant customer experience. “Over the next couple of years DMPs will be a must-have,” he said.

— Ginger Conlon, “Where Will Marketing Grow in 2015?,” Direct Marketing News (January 9, 2015)


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