The UK media buyer STRATA’s quarterly survey of major advertising firms found that for the first time since the survey began in 2008, over half of the respondents expressed an increase in business. The survey also discovered that digital advertising demand has decreased, with mobile advertising not yet living up to industry hype.
Over the past three years, there has been a steady rise in the number of advertising agencies experiencing an increase in business, improving from a low of 22.5 per cent in 2008 to 51 per cent in this poll. Additionally, nearly one quarter of advertisers surveyed said their customers are increasing their budgets from last year, which is a 46 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2010. Optimism about the new year is high, as nearly 35 per cent expect the economy and their business to return to a strong growth period by late 2011, and 17 per cent feeling they are already there.
As the economy improves, advertising agencies remain focused on television as their medium of choice. When having to classify the advertising avenue that agency clients are most focused on, the STRATA survey found that TV remains at the top spot at 44 per cent (up 24 per cent from last quarter), followed by digital at 21.1 per cent and a surprise rebirth of radio at 15.6 per cent (an increase of 75 per cent from the third quarter). After witnessing a steady growth over the past two years, digital advertising demand has decreased for the first time between quarters, from 26 per cent in Q3 to 21.1 per cent in Q4. Agencies expressed the predominant obstacle with digital advertising is the lack of channel effectiveness. Nonetheless, within digital advertising, social media continues to be a hot medium of advertising: 79 per cent of agencies are looking to use Facebook as the dominant social media platform in their clients’ campaigns, with Twitter second at 46 per cent.
The STRATA survey also found that while mobile advertising is definitely creating a buzz, the advertising purchases have not followed. Of all interactive advertising, Mobile was a distant fourth in advertisers’ minds (at 29 per cent), behind Online Display (80 per cent), Social Media (61 per cent), and Search (60 per cent). The iPhone remains the top mobile device for advertisers, with over 80 per cent expressing they are most interest in placing ads on the Apple device. Blackberry outpaces Android, at 51 per cent to Android’s 45.8 per cent. Apple’s iPad is slowly gaining momentum in the advertising realm, where 31 per cent of advertisers say they are interested in placing ads on the new device – a 22 per cent increase from the previous quarter.
Other key findings of the STRATA survey:
-Platforms like iAd, Google TV and Apple TV still hold little interest to agencies as 90 per cent say they don’t have clients requesting these platforms.
– Of types of Mobile advertising, Display is the top choice (67 per cent) – up 28 per cent from 3Q10. SMS is second at 15 per cent, down a whopping 34 per cent over the last quarter.
– More advertisers are looking at Network TV than ever before in the poll – with 16 per cent saying they are more focused on Network TV than they were in 2010 (up 330 per cent from 1Q10).