NEW YORK — Over the next six months, not only will ad spending be down, but the feeling among advertisers and their agencies toward media such as broadcast TV, national newspapers and magazines is growing more pessimistic. The dreary outlook is courtesy of the new Advertiser Optimism Report by Advertiser Perceptions.
But while the outlook is somewhat bleak for the aforementioned ad media, others like online, cable TV and mobile are likely to attract more of marketers’ money.
The report shows a large percentage of the advertisers polled (68%) said they plan to increase their ad spending online. Still, that number is down four points from 72% six months ago. The numbers were also slightly down for cable TV (27% vs. 28%) and mobile (51% vs. 53%) over that same period but remained on the “optimistic” side of the scale.
Advertisers were more pessimistic on broadcast TV, with only 16% saying they would increase their ad spending on broadcast. That is down from the 22% who said they planned to increase their broadcast TV budget a year ago, and only slightly better than the 14% who were planning to increase their broadcast spending six months ago. National newspapers, which were already low six months ago at 10%, dropped into the single digits at 9%, while magazines saw a more drastic drop from 22% to 18% over the same time period.
“We’re seeing less slowing in media that’s more accountable and targetable,” said Randy Cohen, principal at Advertiser Perceptions. “We still see less optimism for online and for cable TV, but it’s more severe in the media that tends to be less accountable.”
From the agency perspective, optimism for the online space is down seven points from six months ago but is still quite high, with 67% saying they plan to increase their online spending. The report showed that fewer agencies planned on increasing ad spending on cable TV (27% vs. 30%) and mobile (50% vs. 54%) than six months ago, but that they were still optimistic about those media. The same couldn’t be said for broadcast TV (13% vs. 17%), magazines (18% vs. 21%) and national newspapers (8% vs. 7%).
However, the number of media brands being considered over the next six months by all who took part in the report is up. The number of online media brands being considered jumped from 14 to 18, TV brands from 21 to 22 and even print brands increased from 11 to 13. In fact, the number of media brands considered by ad category increased for all except the categories home and appliance, technology and telecommunications. And the number of media brands that advertisers and their agencies have committed to over the next six months in the online (seven vs. four) and print (five vs. four) spaces are both up as well, which indicates that less money is being spread across more media brands. The number of TV brands remained constant at eight over the last six months.
The report also reinforces that it is the results that are most significant to marketers and agencies, even more so than cost. Whether it’s an online, TV or print media buy, the ad results are what matters most to marketers and their agencies. The report shows that 83% of online media decision makers believe the ad results are more important than the cost/price (50%). Nearly three quarters of TV media buyers (71%) also believe that ad results are more relevant than cost/price (62%). And a larger percentage (73%) of print decision makers are more interested in the ad results than the cost/price (53%).
Looking ahead at the next six months, the Advertiser Optimism Report projects advertiser optimism will continue to slow, taking ad spending along with it and thus creating a much more competitive media marketplace.
This also means that managing the perception of potential results and delivery for ad dollars will be vital.
Michael Bush is a reporter with Advertising Age, a sister publication to RCR Wireless News. Both publications are owned by Crain Communications Inc.