Posted July 6, 2009 10:31 am by with 7 comments

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Online ad spending is not resilient. That would be the wrong description since it has not really needed to come back from anything yet. Even in this economy that continues to keep many mired in the muck, online spending is going up in ’09 and thru 2011. Sounds like a guarantee, right? Well, of course it’s not, it’s just the latest release of research that you get to play the online version of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Actually there is little doubt that the online advertising industry is still growing. The wildcard in any of these prognostications is the amount and for how long. MediaPost reports on research conducted by Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia Group.

The agency estimates that Internet ad spending will expand 10.1% in 2009, an increase of more than 1.5 percentage points over its last forecast in April.

“Its familiar virtues of transparency, accountability and flexibility have proved even more attractive in a recession than ever,” the Publicis shop writes in the new report, released early Monday morning.

The forecast predicts that online ad spending will account for 12.6% of all ad spend this year and increase to over 15% in 2011. Paid search is really pulling its weight with a predicted increase of 20% this year. Doing some simple math though tells us that the rest of the online industry is not nearly as robust since the segment as a whole is looking at a 10% increase this year.

Now the news for the rest of the advertising world

ZenithOptimedia attributed some of the surge in the U.S. search advertising marketplace to the launch of Microsoft’s new Bing search engine, which is creating “welcome competition to Google and should spur further innovation in search.”

The gain’s in the Internet’s share of global ad spending appears to be coming at the expense of every other major medium. ZenithOptimedia predicts spending in all other media will decline this year.

It’s not like there are new dollars coming into marketing during this recessionary period. It looks like it’s just the shifting of existing budgets into more efficient and effective methods like most online options. The ability to measure results is once again the focal point. If marketers are going to spend they better be able to report what happened for the company’s money. If they can’t then we’ll see the average life of a CMO drop below the current 22 month or so tenure.

The predicted effect on the other areas that are losing ground to online spend are:

  • TV down 7.1%
  • Cinema down 4.8%
  • Outdoor down 7.0%
  • Newspapers down 14.7%
  • Magazines 16.7%

Despite these declines these traditional marketing vehicles still account for about 90% of the overall ad spend. How long will it take for online to reach a 50% share of ad spend? Will that ever happen? Will traditional media go away completely or just look very different? Can it stay the same and still survive? Let’s hear your completely unscientific predictions of the future of advertising. It’ll be some good summer fun.

  • Frank, Being a ‘Newbie’ my marketing efforts right now are focused on what I feel (and hope!) are legitimate methods that are free until I get a better understanding of everything before I start throwing money around, Thanks! Fred

    Fred Roberts’s last blog post..Know And Avoid The Problems Of PLR Material

  • Ironically, this trend hasn’t made it any easier for me to find a job selling online advertising. It really just made everybody flood into my niche. So, I ended up getting a job in print. And, print was supposed to be dead.

  • Add mobile marketing to ANY ad campaign through use of text “keywords.” When consumers text your keyword seen on the online, print, billboard, or radio ad…you immediately engage a member of your target audience. Use multiple keywords….one for each radio ad….to generate tracking data to find out which are most effective. Use mobile marketing because people are not always at their computer or in their email….but they never leave home without their mobile phones. Very inexpensive & efficient method of connecting with interested consumers who have “opted in” to the mobile marketing by their text…at their convenience!

  • Great questions posed here Frank, thanks for starting the dialogue. Online advertising will continue to increase its share of ad spending, because that’s where consumers are dedicating their time and attention, and because companies like ours (Lotame) are making it possible for brands to reach the right consumers with the right message more efficiently than is possible through any other form of media. As you point out, marketers continue to struggle with identifying brand-based metrics to validate their increased spending online. In working with forward-thinking agencies and brands, we address these concerns by measuring and delivering value “beyond the click” – driving favorability, intent and engagement. Innovations in the form and substance of creative units and campaign structures will also help to accelerate the continued shift of ad dollars online. Tough to predict precise future allocations across forms of media (especially since all types of media are becoming interactive and online) – but no question that the steady shift of ad budgets that began fifteen years ago will continue, as marketers invest to reach and engage consumers where they are – in social media and elsewhere online.

    Adam Lehman
    COO, Lotame

  • The ability to target a specific audience, with a guaranteed ROI, and accurate campaign tracking, gives online advertising a cost effective edge, especially when advertising budgets are tight.

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