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Pathmatics Blog
Ad Intelligence 101 |


Advertising Budgets: How to Learn Your Competitor's Spend Strategy

May 16 2017 by Jordan Kramer

The average ad spend for the top 500 advertisers in 2016 hit slightly above $19 million, with the top advertiser, Proctor & Gamble, dishing out more than $200 million. Where does your annual ad spend fall?

Being able to compare your budget, and your spending strategy, to your competitor's strategy is crucial to determining an effective financial plan. 

So what’s the best way to do this? Compare your advertising budget to the competition with marketing intelligence. Here’s a step-by-step guide to determining your budget for Q3 and beyond.

1. Define Your Competitors

Who are your true competitors? Being able to define your market and narrow down your main competition is vital to determining the appropriate ad budget. Once you have a list of your competitors, you’re ready to use your ad intelligence tool.

2. Choose a Date Range to Analyze

Before you start comparing competitor and industry spend with your own, you’ll need to choose a date range to analyze.

Did you recently launch your paid advertising? Did one of your competitors enter a new market segment? Has your industry gone through a major change in the past year? It’s best to choose a date range to analyze that most closely correlates with the landscape as it is now. This will ensure that your data will most accurately inform your budgeting decisions for the near future.

3. Check Yourself against Your Competitors

Let’s say your brand is NBC Universal Television, and you’ve identified your competitors as ABC Entertainment Group and CBS. You’ve selected a date range to analyze spend data. Your next move is to input yourself and your competitors into your ad intelligence software’s competitor tool. 

With the right ad intelligence, you can see:

Spend Share


Impression Share


Spend and Impression Historical Trends


Buying Channel Breakdown


And much more.

4. Analyze the Most Effective Spend Strategies

Once you have access to your competitors’ spend data, it’s time to identify the most effective spending. Where did they get the most impressions? Which ads did they run the longest? Hone in on the spend strategies that appear to be the most successful.

5. Apply Historical Data to Your Budget Allocation Strategy

Once you’ve determined which ads, channels, sites and other spend trends were likely the most effective, and how much each cost, you can lay out a monthly, quarterly and yearly budget based on this historical data. 

Want to learn more about how to leverage ad intelligence? Check out the related reads below.

Related Reads:

About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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