Razorfish Grows Spending on Exchanges, Mobile, Facebook

Mobile marketing, social media, and exchange-traded ads continue to generate buzz amongst online media execs, but that’s with good reason if the spending habits of digital agency Razorfish are anything to go by.

The Publicis-owned firm expects its overall ad spend to have increased 25 percent by the year’s end, but said in its annual outlook report – released Wednesday (Nov. 9) –that investment in those three channels is growing at a considerably faster rate.

“The past year in digital media was heavily influenced by the rapid adoption of new channels like tablets, the explosive growth of new consumer platforms like Twitter and new innovations in media buying such as ad exchanges,” the report read.

The agency’s ad exchange spend is projected to grow 60 percent this year, for example, building on the 66 percent increase in budget the channel received in 2010.  Despite that fact, it sees room for significant further investment in the category, given that it currently represents less than 10 percent of its total media spend.

Mobile is seeing considerable growth, too, with spending in the channel growing 50 percent in the past year to reach around a tenth of its total paid media allocation. Over half of that budget is being directed to mobile search, though, suggesting mobile display still has some hurdles to overcome before investment begins to mirror the amount time consumers are spending with those devices.

Meanwhile, Facebook ads also continue to gain traction. The social network is now one of the agency’s top five sites in terms of media investment. Amazingly, as recently as 2008 Facebook had barely cracked Razofish’s top 200 spending partners. “Projections for 2011 point to continued growth and show no evidence that the rise of paid media on Facebook will slow down,” it said.

Overall, search and direct display buys will account for 36 percent and 43 percent of the agency’s spending this year, with network and exchange buys representing 13 percent combined. Mobile and social ads will receive 4 percent of its overall media investment each.

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