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Pathmatics Blog

Where Do Financial Services Advertisers Get the Most Impressions and Best CPMs?

October 24 2016 by Jordan Kramer


Most digital advertisers don’t have monthly ad budgets in the millions—but the top financial service spenders do. State Farm, the top advertiser in September 2016, spent more than $16 million on desktop advertising that month alone. Curious where huge ad budgets like these go, and what these brands get in return for their spend?

Let’s take a closer look at the financial services desktop budget allocation from Q1 to Q3 2016 to find out where adverisers got the most impressions and best CPM. You might end up shifting around some of your own ad dollars after seeing this.

Where Top Advertisers Spend the Most Money

For the first three quarters of 2016, financial services as an industry put 70 percent of its desktop budget into direct advertising. Following (not so closely) behind were ad networks at 21 percent, with DSPs (7 percent) and trading desks (1 percent) trailing. The remaining 1 percent was composed of multiple sources.



The top six industry spenders all spent a majority of their budgets on direct, ranging from 62 percent to 97 percent of total spend.

Notably, however, not every top spender took the direct route. Some of the top 20 spenders put less than 10 percent toward direct advertising, with Paypal at 4 percent direct spend and TransUnion at 3 percent.

Where Top Advertisers Get the Most Impressions

While the industry spent 70 percent of its budget on direct advertising, direct only comprised 41 percent of impressions these advertisers gained. Ad networks, in fact, accounted for 43 percent of all the industry’s impressions, though only 21 percent of its spending. 

DSPs and trading desks also took higher impression share than spend share, at 13 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Where Are the Best CPMs?

If your advertising strategy focuses on brand awareness, the natural next question is: “where are the best CPMs?” Below are the top five sites for impressions in this sector and CPM breakdowns of each. 

Impressions: 25,710,929,500
Spend: $134,500,100
CPM: $5.23

Impressions: 12,487,359,400
Spend: $82,758,300
CPM: $6.62

Impressions: 11,701,996,400
Spend: $75,394,300
CPM: $6.44 

Impressions: 7,681,628,600
Spend: $58,407,100
CPM: $7.60

Impressions: 10,654,107,300
Spend: $37,623,400
CPM: $3.53

The winner is…. Ebay.com.

This site delivers the best CPM at $3.53. While only holding about 4 percent of the spend share, Ebay garners more than 6 percent of the industry’s total impression share. About 75 percent of Ebay’s advertising sales are from direct spend in this sector alone.

Additional Advertising Insights

Not all of us have millions of dollars to spend on advertising each month like these top advertisers. This makes it even more crucial to monitor the competition. With less wiggle room to make mistakes, every penny counts. Having the technology to monitor the blunders and successes of the competition allows us to learn from others instead of wasting hundreds or thousands on failed campaigns. Pathmatics can help you out there.

Bonus: Download the Q2 Financial Services Advertising Report for an in-depth breakdown of the sector’s spending. 

Download the Guide

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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