Professional Services Spend $2.5 Billion on Mobile Ads

BIA SAM Survey

Local businesses in the professional services vertical are diverse – ranging from legal to design to technology services. This category is highly competitive, with local professionals looking at ways to be discovered in their customers time of need. In BIA’s Local Advertising Forecast, businesses in the General Services vertical (the closest to SAM™ BIA’s Survey of Advertising and Marketing Professional Services vertical) will spend $2.5B on mobile ads in 2019. Legal businesses along with engineering, architects and computer/technology services businesses will spend the most out of this group. Mobile isn’t the only digital showing high investment by this team. Digital channels had the highest compound annual growth (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023 – especially digital offerings from traditional media players like TV, magazines, and radio. Pure play digital is also expected to see significant gains.

Professional services businesses in local spend the bulk of the ad budget on digital strategies. Our SAM survey indicates that over half (51%) of their ad budgets are going to digital ads in 2019. Social and targeted digital ads make up the largest share of their intended spend this year however don’t discount other content including video. More than half of professional services use an outside company for digital content and marketing, they spend on native ads which has the highest ROI for them. Video is highly valued because it helps to build their brand which in many cases is an effective way to communicate their areas of expertise and specializations.

What insights should you take away from this research?

  • Review your product offerings. Media sellers need to be prepared to sell targeted social, mobile and search in every offer and show how their media helps consumers look for and find professional services.
  • Social ads and geo-filters should be included in every offer. Over half of professional service businesses say they are increasing spend on mobile search and display. Media sellers that don’t offer these products must show how their ad products can target select customers.

The SAM™ survey data as well as our local forecast data is available through BIA’s local advertising dashboard, BIA ADVantage and is offered in a searchable, downloadable format. Insights and analytical reports from the survey are also provided. Additional information about BIA’s SAM study can be found here.

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