When was the last time a bank handed you a toaster?

The free toaster, that relic of bank marketing from a bygone era, ushered in more traditional financial advertising (think brochures and television commercials). But these days, the banking industry is saying goodbye to old-line advertising and hello to online and mobile media.

In fact, the banking industry in the U.S. is poised to spend a huge amount of money on digital media and shift away from more traditional channels, according to a recent report from eMarketer (via The Financial Brand). The report says ad spending on digital media will reach $7 billion in 2015, a 14.5 percent leap from 2014.

eMarketer forecasts a robust 11.7% compound annual growth rate between 2014 and 2019. By 2019, eMarketer suggests that the U.S. financial industry will spend more than $10 billion annually on digital advertising.

The report highlights “heavy spending” on paid search as well as programmatic buying for display media as two areas where money will flow. There’s a huge push to reach millennials who may have little to no bank or credit union loyalties. Using mobile advertising, which will comprise almost 50 percent of the banking industry’s 2015 total digital spend, credit unions and banks are focused on performance metrics first and branding goals second.

Search Is on Top of the World

According to eMarketer, “Search advertising will continue to be the dominant paid media format for financial marketers in 2015, to the tune of $3.40 billion — or 47.3% of the US financial services industry’s total digital ad spending.”

For financial firms, it’s time to get online business listings ready for upcoming paid search spending. eMarketer adds that a December 2014 survey of US millennial internet users by Principal Financial Group discovered that web search was the “most preferred channel for researching products and services offered by financial institutions and insurance companies.”

Financial marketers, are you increasing your digital paid search spend this year? Let us help get your online business listings ready for the increased search traffic. It would be our pleasure to help you increase web traffic, create more effective SEO and lead customers right to your front door with accurate online business listings.

Olga is Senior Manager of Marketing and Sales Operations at Connectivity.