When Will Marketers Boost Spending?

Posted by truecreek on May 29, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

We’ve been discussing this exact same thing with clients for several months now and it seems like we’re almost there.    Brand advertising on TV will once again be back in vogue, with some nice budgets behind it.

By Mark Dolliver

Will ad agencies need to wait until the recession has certifiably ended before they see a rebound in their clients’ spending? A survey released today by the Association of National Advertisers gives a glimmer of hope that marketers’ expenditures will turn upward sooner than that.

In online polling last month among members of the ANA’s Brand Marketer Leadership Community panel, 68 percent of respondents said they plan boost their media budgets as the economy recovers; 41 percent said they’ll increase their spending on social networking/word of mouth. As for the timing, 73 percent said “they would ideally implement these increased marketing activities three to six months before the recession ends, and an additional 16 percent as soon as it ends.”

A renewed focus on long-term brand-building will represent a shift from what many marketers have been doing as the recession deepened. The ANA’s report of the findings says two-thirds of marketers “have shifted their emphasis to more short-term strategies in the last six months.” Such a shift is reflected in the answers respondents gave when asked to cite the areas in which they’ve cut back. Fifty-six percent said they’ve cut media budgets, and 41 percent said the same about sponsorship/events activities. The activity most likely to have been increased amid the recession: “pricing deals,” cited by 47 percent of respondents.

For all the flux in marketers’ use of media, TV remained atop the standings when respondents were asked to say which media are effective for building brand equity. Sixty-four percent cited TV. Though down from 80 percent in a similar February 2007 poll, that still put TV ahead of online (61 percent) and “guerrilla/word of mouth/buzz marketing” (57 percent). Lagging farther behind were magazines (51 percent, down from 67 percent in 2007), radio (30 percent, down from 36 percent), outdoor (26 percent, down from 35 percent) and newspapers (19 percent, down from 36 percent). Social media garnered the most mentions as “the media channel that marketers would like to use but have not yet been able to implement.”

Elsewhere in the survey (conducted in conjunction with marketing-services firm ‘mktg’), respondents were asked about the factors they watch most closely as indicators of “brand health” — i.e., the degree to which brand equity is increasing or declining. “Customer experience/satisfaction” was cited by 48 percent of respondents — up from 37 percent in the 2007 poll. “There is less focus on traditional metrics such as brand image and awareness, which tend to be lagging indicators of brand health,” says the ANA report of the findings.

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