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Earlier in the week the latest Internet Ad Revenue Report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said online ad revenues in the first quarter of this year hit $2.3 billion, 38.9% higher than the same quarter of 2003.
Yesterday, a new Nielsen/NetRatings study released at the Ad:Tech Conference and Expo indicated that the boost in ad spending was led by a growing number of old-line bricks-and-mortar corporations that have made large increases in the amount they spend on Internet-based marketing activities.
AT&T Wireless Services, for instance, increased 1,262% the number of online ad impressions it purchased as part of its overall advertising campaigns this year over last. That huge boost made it No. 1 among all industry segments in online advertising increases.
Similarly, online ad placements by pharmaceutical marketer Schering Plough leaped 737%, while financial services consumer credit firm MBNA Corp. grew 471%.
Know what works
"What's happened is large companies in 2002 and 2003 were experimenting online," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics at Nielsen/NetRatings. "They've learned a lot and many advertisers know for a fact what works online."
Among automotive manufacturers, DaimerChrysler increased its Internet advertising by 461%. Safeway led the retail goods and services category with a 440% leap, and Ameriquest Mortgage was No. 1 among consumer loans companies with 226%.
Other sector leaders were Apollo Group in public services education at 163%; News Corp. in the entertainment movies sector at 133%; Cendant Corp. in travel vehicle rental at 62%; and SBC Communications in the telecommunications, ISP and broadband area with 39% growth.
In general, traditional brick-and-mortar brands are still spending only an average of about 3% of their overall marketing budgets online, Mr. Buchwalter said. But "for the next two years online is going to grow robustly."