The Toolbox

There are two studies out this morning that are interesting to me (and hopefully to you!).

The first is

a recent survey conducted on behalf of PRWeek and Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L) by Millward Brown indicates that just may be the case: Despite weakened economic conditions, over 75% of senior marketers say they expect spending for new media and online initiatives to increase in the next year.

The second one is

a recent study by Borrell Associates, a Williamsburg, Va.-based market research firm, uncovered three major trends:

  • Spending on online display ads (web page banners, pop-ups, etc.) have been flat the past two years and are expected to top out at $12.6 billion in 2008, then decline more than 50 percent by 2012.
  • Paid search advertising will peak at $16.9 billion by 2009 and start declining.
  • Online promotions generated about $8 billion in 2007. This category will nearly triple by 2013 to $22.8 billion, exceeding all other online advertising categories, including paid search, banners, email and online audio/video advertising.

How does one reconcile these two?  I believe they’re both right – spending on digital media will continue to grow.  It should – it’s an emerging medium and consumers’ time spent and engagement with it continues to grow.  I’m not sure why there is a giant difference between good advertising and good promotion.  If I’m reading the survey right, it seems as if the difference is that the “promotional” online ads tie to a contest or some other action.  I was always taught that all advertising is supposed to have a call to action and that, it seems, is what we should be measuring.  There are lots of other factors such as the creative to consider before blaming the messenger – the medium.

It’s unfortunate that some CMO’s will read the above survey and turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  There are lots of tools in the marketing toolbox.  Digital media, and display ads within digital media (hopefully with a specific, measurable, excellent call to action) are a big part.  An even bigger, more important part is using all of the tools at one’s disposal as we continue the conversations with the public.

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Filed under Thinking Aloud, What's Going On

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