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Half of higher spending small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) plan to maintain their current ad spend in 2018, according to the new wave of BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM). Another 45% plan to increase their spend, while 4% plan to decrease spend.

“For the first time in two years, advertisers we classify as ‘plus spenders,’ – those spending more than $25,000 each year on advertising – are not planning to increase their ad spend in 2018,” said Celine Matthiessen, VP Analytics and Insights, BIA/Kelsey. “Instead, they are increasing their use of lower cost digital media to maintain spend.”

Based on survey results, Plus Spenders are  using an average of 17 different media channels for their advertising and promotion. Their marketing mix is evolving to include more of the less expensive advertising channels, such as mobile. “Over 85 percent of Plus Spender advertisers indicated they are already using some form of mobile advertising, and they intend to increase that usage next year by focusing on areas such as mobile search, mobile websites and mobile display,” commented Matthiessen. As shown in the chart above, digital and social usage has remained fairly flat, while traditional media such as Print/Outdoor and Broadcast & Cable have declined. Mobile has shown considerable growth, along with community sponsorships and giveaways.

*Core SMBs have an annual spend of less than $25,000. Plus Spenders have an annual spend of at least $25,000.


BIA/Kelsey’s LCM, Wave 21 reports can be purchased a la carte in the BIA/Kelsey eStore. Subscribers of BIA ADVantage can view the research from the online dashboard found here.

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