Online Ad Spending Officially Defeats Newspaper Ads

For decades, companies have been investing their hard-earned advertising dollars into print ads in newspapers, magazines, and billboards. In 2010, a marketing milestone was reached: the amount spent on Internet advertising officially surpassed that of newspapers for the first time.

According to eMarketer’s Decemeber 2010 statistics, newspaper ad spending in 2010 dropped from $27.6 billion in 2009 to $25.7 billion. They also predict this trend to continue well into 2011 with a significant drop to $24.6 billion. Although this still seems like a hefty amount spent on paper ads, Internet/digital ad spending is on the rise and it doesn’t look like this will dwindle anytime soon with the release of more and more smart phones and the increased use of digital media over hard-copy.

Internet marketing rose 13.9% and reached $25.8 billion in 2010; though it just edged out the newspaper ad spending, this is significant in that it indicates that big-time ad agencies are realizing the potential that the Internet has in reaching colossal audiences. CEO of eMarketer Geoff Ramsey told The Wall Street Journal that the trend is “something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point.”

eMarketer expects the decline of newspaper print ads to continue its decline, and ads in the online editions will be unable to recover the difference. On the other hand, total U.S. online ad spending is on its way to a predicted $40 billion by 2014.

What are these statistics saying about ways to spend your advertising dollars?

Traditional marketing campaigns are becoming a trend of the past; it’s time to start investing in an online marketing campaign. From small “mom and pop” stores to Fortune 500 companies, every business can benefit from the growth of Internet advertising. With recent stats from eMarketer predicting 65% of all businesses to invest more in email marketing; 57% of businesses to increase spending in social media campaigns; and 45% of businesses to increase dollars in search marketing (SEO and PPC), it’s wise to go where the people go—and the advertising community seems to think the water cooler is now located online.