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Pathmatics Blog

Spend Insights from 4 Top Financial Services Advertisers

August 17 2016 by Gabe Gottlieb


The financial services industry is expected to spend $8.37 billion on digital advertising in 2016, according to eMarketer, accounting for 12.2 percent of total U.S. digital ad spend.

So it’s no surprise that the highest spending sector in digital advertising for Q2 2016 was financial services. Financial services companies spent nearly $329 million on desktop advertising, with the top 10 advertisers spending more than 50 percent of that budget. These top 10 advertisers only spent about $10 million on mobile and tablet ads. 

With so much spending on desktop in this sector and more than 50 billion desktop impressions in Q2, we wanted to know: Where do financial services advertising dollars go? Who is benefiting from these massive spend budgets? 

Here’s what we uncovered about the advertising strategies and CPMs of the top four in the category: Capital One, TurboTax, State Farm and Progressive.

Capital One and TurboTax: Reliant on Direct Advertising


Seventy-seven percent of financial services’ desktop spend, or more than $247 million, went to direct in Q2 and yielded more than 23 billion impressions at a CPM of $10.73 for the industry. However, Capital One, the top spender of Q2, spent 99 percent of its budget on direct and yielded a $7.22 CPM. The other 1 percent of Capital One’s spend went to Amazon, yielding a $3.83 CPM. 

The second highest spender, TurboTax, also spent 99 percent of ad budget on direct, but the other 1 percent on Advertising.com, an ad network. 

State Farm: Strategy Focused on Trading Desk Spending


The third highest spender, State Farm, spent 65 percent of its money on direct, followed by 24 percent with trading desks and 10 percent with ad exchanges. This strategy saw an overall CPM of $6.01.

However, State Farm’s only impressions from trading desk sources came from Accuen, which resulted in a CPM of $2.96.

Progressive: An Advertising Trifecta


Progressive was the fourth highest spending advertiser across desktop. Following the industry’s love of direct ads, Progressive spent 86 percent of its budget advertising directly. This spend yielded a $9.43 CPM. 

Progressive spent 9 percent of its money with ad networks, which yielded a much lower CPM of $3.07. The company also used DSPs for 5 percent of its spend at a $3.18 CPM.

Additional Competitor Spend Information 

Analyzing the strategies of top spenders and other competitors can help shape your brand’s digital advertising strategies. Where other brands are putting their ad spend dollars, and what CPM different advertising strategies tend to yield, allows more advertisers to compete on a level playing field. It’s an advantage only competitive ad intelligence can provide.

Looking for deeper insights into the financial services sector’s spend habits? Great. You can download your free copy of the Q2 Financial Services Digital Advertising Report, which is filled with Pathmatics data to help you gain insight on the competition. 


About Author
Gabe Gottlieb

A self-proclaimed "data hound," Gabe Gottlieb earned his stripes leading software teams at Microsoft. Gabe saw a pervasive problem with the lack of openness in the digital advertising world and decided to join forces with Tom Lorimor to level the playing field. Now, five patents later, the Co-Founder and CEO of Pathmatics is leading the movement for transparency in advertising. Gabe holds dual degrees, in Engineering and Finance, from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business.

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