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The average advertising budget breakdown [#ChartoftheDay]

Author's avatar By Alexander Clark 23 Jun, 2016
Essential Essential topic

The average marketing budget spends 48% on advertising, but how does it breakdown?

Not too long ago, broadcast and print reigned supreme, taking up a huge quantity of the advertising budgets. Then, along came the internet and began to shake things up.

The ability to accurately measure how adverts were performing was all too enticing and we have now seen a shift in favour of digital, with an average of 64% of the advertising spend.

Percolate, recently conducted a survey of over 300 enterprise U.S. CMOs, VPs, and Marketing Directors, to dig a little deeper into the hidden costs of marketing.

How does the average advertising budget break down?


Search Ads

Search Advertising, refers to the adverts that appear on the results page, (usually near the top) when a user types a query into a search engine.

This takes on average 12% of the budget and can be an extremely effective way of getting your adverts in front of a large audience at various points of their purchase decision journey.

Display Ads

Display Advertising can come in several forms, including banner ads, rich media and more. Unlike text-based ads (Search Ads), display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to communicate an advertising message.

The split between display and search ads is very minimal with an average spend of 13%. Often used in conjuncture with each other, search being preferred as a 'pull' method, compared to the 'push' approach display advertising offers.

Display ads are also preferred if you're trying increase brand awareness, by getting in front of potential customer that don't yet know your brand


Programmatic advertising is automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, for the opportunity to show an ad to a specific customer, in a specific context. To read a little more about it, we published a blog post not too long ago and also have a rather handy Programmatic Marketing Briefing if you'd like to learn even more!

A very fast growing segment in advertising, spend on programmatic is expected increase over the coming years, due to the immediacy and relevancy it can show ads with.

Website & E-commerce

Website and E-commerce, refers to the time and money spent creating the online presence that is your website. The costs referred to here are more often than not maintenance costs, but can also refer to onsite SEO, in a bid to increase your organic google rankings.

The importance of having a great looking, functional site which conveys your brand's personality across, is paramount. Which is perhaps why it doesn't come cheap. At 15% of the average advertising spend, it's obvious companies view it as being particularly important.

After all, it is often the first port-of-call for any would-be customers.


Social Network Advertising is the use of social medias, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr etc, to put advertisers content in front of a highly targetted demographic. This can be in the form of a sponsored post, rich text, banner adverts, private messages or simply posting an update themselves.

As social networks are developing greater way of segmenting and targetting their users, advertisers are preparing to spend more and more, in order to get their product or service in front of potential customers.

  • Source: Percolate
  • Sample: Over 300 enterprise U.S. CMOs, VPs, and Marketing Directors
Author's avatar

By Alexander Clark

A former member of the Smart Insights team, I’m always on the look out to collaborate with the finest minds in Digital Marketing. Currently working at Silverbean, I have a distinctive interest in all things outreach, content, strategy, and measurement. If you’d like to get in touch, you can do so through my LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. When I’m not planning new campaigns and content, I love playing the Bass Guitar and Drums (not necessarily at the same time) also racking up as many hours as possible on Football Manager and the Rugby pitch.

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