Corporate Eye

Will 2015 Be the Year Display Advertising Investments Beat Search Advertising?

New research from eMarketer reveals a prediction that might surprise you. According to the eMarketer data analysis, display advertising investments are on track to surpass search advertising investments in 2015. Of course, that’s assuming that current investment trends stay the same over the next few years.

The chart below from eMarketer shows how display advertising and search advertising spending is expected to play out through 2014. You can see the gap closing as display advertising spending is expected to keep growing year over year while search advertising spending is expected to start flattening out after 2014.

eMarketer makes the point that more companies are investing in display advertising (particularly with the growth of online video display advertising) for brand-building rather than keeping those budget dollars in direct response search advertising. In fact, spending on brand-building online advertising efforts will grow faster than direct response online advertising over the next four years.

It’s great to see a greater focus on branding by companies, particularly as it relates to budget investments. A strong brand can weather many storms, so investing in brand-building today can only help a company in the future. Considering that online ad spending is expected to grow by 20% in 2011 in the United States alone, this is definitely an area that brands need to prioritize in terms of strategy, planning, and budgets. Display advertising should be just one component of an online brand-building strategy. Social media marketing, content marketing, and traditional marketing should be fully integrated for the most successful results.

Is your company shifting online advertising budget dollars from search to display or from direct response to brand-building? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the trends predicted by eMarketer related to online advertising and branding.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.