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Local online ad spending, which Borrell Associates had previously expected to keep on chugging away before leveling off in 2012, is set for…

Local online ad spending, which Borrell Associates had previously expected to keep on chugging away before leveling off in 2012, is set for “little or no growth” in 2008, a result of the financial meltdown, the local media researcher says. Putting its numbers in context, Borrell says that offline media will drop 1.4 percent next year, while interactive media increases 7.2 percent. The report follows several other industry analysts who have steadily downgraded expectations for general online ad spending this year.

The deceleration of local interactive spending — which was viewed as the major growth engine of online advertising as the whole category began slowing last year — is pretty stark. Borrell’s report says that local online ad spend has grown at a frenetic 47 percent this year

  1. This isn't too surprising. Local Online Ads have always been pushed on small businesses – mom and pops, sole proprietorships, and small businesses that only have a local, geographic reach. Since most of these businesses have bricks-and-mortar stores and offices, measurable return and metrics from online ad spending are often ignored or unaccounted for. Since local small businesses are already notoriously slow to adapt to even build a website, online spending would certainly see diminished grow or even decline during this economic situation.

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  2. The % gains will be down, but the trends are still unmistakable; 7.2% is not a reversal. The fact that web buys are less costly, more productive and far less cumbersome (i.e., time-consuming) will sustain whatever growth there is to have in the next 24 months. SMEs we are familiar with are abandoning print to spend for IYP listings, some search and, depending on the sector, "find-a-business" search listings. If you can make it simple and affordable and show clear targeting, the smaller local firms will pay attention.

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  3. There is a new tool for local advertisers and local media companies. MyADbuyer.com created the first open online and offline advertising marketplace. Local advertisers can search the media database for newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, outdoor, direct mail and Internet sites throughout the United States. Access advertising rates and media kit information and view ad deals posted by media salespeople.

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