In what is clearly yet another threat to the health of the traditional local media business, a new survey from Borrell Associates reveals that advertising’s shifting sands have made their way to the local level. In preliminary results (1,800 participants) from an ongoing survey of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) around the country, the largest number — 57% — say they plan to increase online spending this year. That number is significantly higher than any other form of media in terms of increasing ad spending. According to Gordon Borrell, “If overall local ad budgets are increasing only about 10% in 2015, the high growth in digital is coming at the expense of other media choices – notably print.” Yellow Pages, newspapers, and magazines are the hardest hit media categories, with each being targeted for spending decreases of over 20% or more.
The most interesting aspect of this new Borrell’s survey is that the majority of those who advertise in traditional media channels say they’re in a holding pattern on those expenditures this year. That is, 51% to 65% of them said their print, broadcast or outdoor ad budgets would probably remain the same in 2015.
(NOTE: These results come from surveying active advertisers in more than 100 markets across the U.S. If you’d like to know how YOUR local advertisers compare with these results, the Borrell survey will remain open until April 15th. To participate in Borrell’s massive SMB survey, contact Greg Harmon at .)