Advertising in local can be a challenge for highly specialized businesses, especially in the professional services like realtors, accountants, lawyers, therapists, web designers, pr and marketing services. The professional services industry is changing rapidly with disruptors from technology to customer behaviors impacting how this diverse group advertises. The local competition can be fierce with many options for consumers. Professionals in response, they are using more digital channels than other media.
In BIA’s SAM™ Survey of Advertising and Marketing of local businesses nearly 60% use targeted digital media- specifically targeted social ads, email and specialized directories. Mobile targeted search is also highly used with 30-40% saying it’s one of their top channels.
In 2019 the US this group will be spending $17.61 billion in local to advertise and market to their customers. Within professional services the largest spenders are Architects, Engineers & Builders, Legal professionals, IT professionals, Accounting and Scientific consultants. It should be no surprise that digital channels used by professional services including mobile have 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.
Local media sellers should focus on the unique targeting capabilities beyond demographics and location for this group. Show them how your audiences can complement their current campaigns on social and mobile. There are a lot of local dollars in professional services, the key is not necessarily increase their ad budget but helping them to shift their spend to media that will target their customers across media.
The SAM™ survey 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.