You don't need to be a fan of the popular TV show "Mad Men" to know that the advertising business means big bucks. However, the industry is very different these days than is portrayed in the show, which is set in the 1960s. There are more dollars being spent and there is a wider array of options for advertisers to fork over their cash in the hopes of luring customers. Kantar Media reports that total advertising expenditures in the first six months of 2011 increased 3.2% from a year ago, and shows little sign of stopping. Where the dollars are being spent, though, is what's shifting. (For more, read Advertising, Crocodiles And Moats.)

TUTORIAL: Stock-Picking Strategies

Here are some examples of where advertisers are spending their money these days:

Television is still king when it comes to advertising dollars. Barclays Capital estimates, TV ad spending could reach $60 billion this year. But there has been a marked spending shift from network TV. Kantar Media reported network TV advertising fell 7.6% during the first half of the year, to cable networks, which saw an 11.8% rise. Sports played a giant role in the change, including the move of college football bowl games and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament programming from broadcast networks to cable. The drama surrounding the two professional league lockouts -- the National Football League and National Basketball Association -- kept advertisers on the edge of their seats, but ultimately grabbed big ad dollars when all was eventually resolved.

Despite its surge in nearly every other venue, online ad spending is still behind TV dollars. It is, however, expected to reach $30 billion in the U.S. this year -- up about 15% from its estimates for 2010.
Internet media accounted for more than one-half of the dollar gain in total ad spending during the first six months of the year. Display spending jumped 12.9% and search investments rose 8.6%, according to Kantar Media, which cited the travel, local service and insurance categories as prominent factors so far for the year.

Mobile Outlets
If you have a product or service to sell, it's likely there's an app for it that's available for your mobile device. According to ABI Research, they estimate that 29 billion apps will be downloaded in 2011. Gartner reports that by the end of 2011, mobile advertising will generate $701 million in revenue in North America
. This is more than double that of $304 million in 2010. As revenue from mobile advertising continues, it is only a matter of time before more advertisers jump on this growing trend and try to take a piece of the large mobile advertising pie. (For related reading, check out Retailers Are Going Mobile: How You Can Benefit.)

The pace of spending over the airwaves has steadily declined over the last few years, but advertising on local radio was up 2.4% compared to a year ago, perhaps due to more stations moving to digital platforms. Sales stayed soft through the first half of 2011 but Nielsen reports show that advertisers are continuing to invest internationally, with a focus on the growing Asian and Latin American markets.

The decline of the newspaper and magazine media outlets continues to drag down the ad market. National newspaper ad spending fell 4.9% and Spanish language newspapers dropped 5.9% through the second quarter of 2011, according to Kantar media. Research firm eMarketer reported that advertising spent in newspapers (print and online) fell to $25.7 billion in 2010, a drop of 6.6%. However, the local newspaper segment ended its streak of 22 consecutive quarters of spending declines and eked out a 2.5% increase, and a 0.6% gain for the half year.

The Bottom Line
As long as there is a consumer audience, companies will spend money hawking their goods and services. But marketers must keep up with the times, and follow the trends to ensure their efforts get the biggest bang for their buck. (For more on Ads, read 8 Of The Most Successful Ad Campaigns Of All Time.)

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Netflix's Billion-Dollar Content Licensing Budget

    Understand how Netflix selects the TV shows and movies it streams to its subscribers, and learn how it finances those licensing deals.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 3 Most Successful Korean Entrepreneurs

    Discover the backgrounds of some of the most successful Korean entrepreneurs and information about the companies and projects leading to their success.
  3. Entrepreneurship

    7 Top-Earning Child Stars

    These seven top-earning child stars earned millions through different parts of the entertainment industry, including television, film and music.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Why Every Small Business Needs A Website

    The reality of living in the twenty-first century is that customers find business information and product offerings predominantly on websites, and small businesses without an online presence ...
  5. Entrepreneurship

    8 Top-Earning Country Singers

    These eight country singers have built careers singing about men and women who’ve done them wrong, and they’ve shared their heartache to the tune of millions of dollars.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    How Twitter Cards Can Help Drive Traffic to Your Website

    Understand what Twitter cards are and how they are used to increase website traffic. Learn about the top six ways these cards drive Web traffic.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    5 Ways to Make Money on Twitter

    Find out how people are making money online on Twitter, and get some ideas that can turn Twitter into a source of revenue for you or for your small business.
  8. Investing

    Ad Blockers Could Spell A Boom For Publishers  

    In a free content world, largely subsidized by advertising, ad blockers can eat into publishing revenues. But, publishers can still stand to gain.
  9. Investing

    Digital Advertising Is The Future, But Why?

    Digital advertising has outgrown the internet.
  10. Investing

    Maximize Your Ad Potential From Facebook Trends

    Facebook's "Trending" is a hot destination for users and soon maybe advertisers. We look at what business can get from advertising based on these trends.
  1. How much of the profitability in the Internet sector is concentrated in the few major ...

    Outside of any limiting, narrow interpretations concerning what constitutes the Internet sector, there is very little industry ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is a financial advisor allowed to pay a referral fee?

    A financial advisor is allowed to pay a referral fee to a third party for soliciting clients. However, the Securities and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some examples of general and administrative expenses?

    In accounting, general and administrative expenses represent the necessary costs to maintain a company's daily operations ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a long tail become profitable?

    A long tail becomes profitable because the costs to produce, market and distribute a product or service in a niche are low, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are average operating expenses for the oil and gas sector?

    The oil and gas sector plays an important role in the economy by drilling, extracting, and processing oil and gas. Because ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do companies with a large product portfolio use BCG Analysis?

    BCG analysis is used to evaluate an organization's product portfolio in sales planning and marketing. It is specifically ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  2. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  3. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  4. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  5. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
  6. Capitalized Cost

    An expense that is added to the cost basis of a fixed asset on a company's balance sheet. Capitalized Costs are incurred ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!