2007 Spend Trends for the Top 50 Tech Advertisers

As part on my budgeting and planning for agency development, I recently reviewed the advertising spend data for the top 50 tech clients across all US media formats. The data I reviewed was supplied by my good friends at CNET via TNS Media Intelligence.

Without being drawn into obvious discussions about spend data accuracy (I know for a fact it’s pretty incorrect due to having several clients in the list) it’s main interest for me is reviewing the data trends rather than the specific numbers. Here are some highlights.

In 2007 reported ad spend for these companies was over $1.6 billion. This figure is down 9% over 2006 which shows some strains already appearing on budgets ahead of any real economic pressures, which really will not have been a factor over the measured period.

The spend spread by media was as follows:

All TV 30%
All Newspapers 9%
All Magazines 17%
All B2B Press 17%
All Outdoor 4%
All Radio 1%
All Internet 21%

But where did the redistribution of media dollars go compared with 2006?

All TV down 6%
All Newspapers down 31%
All Magazines down 25%
All B2B Press down 16%
All Outdoor up 45%
All Radio down 10%
All Internet up 20%

Since general spend was down 9% overall, that makes TV and radio pretty flat and confirms the expected main trend of dollars shifting out of print media (Mags, Newspapers and trade press) moving online. However let’s just remember that print still makes up 43% of total 2007 spend so one can hardly say “print is dead” despite hearing this mantra on an almost daily basis and many of the top companies quoted as being the leading proponents of this thinking.

I was obviously interested in outdoor lift, which whilst still only a relatively small percentage overall, saw significant percentage gains. Having just come out of a presentation about the rise of digital outdoor advertising, one wonders how this is effecting the rebirth of this media outlet….perhaps this shows that old media can be reinvented for the digital age.

What did I learn? Well we have seen our own spends now exceed 50% of agency billings for digital media – almost double what they were just 12 months ago. It means hiring more media professionals who can integrate online media with traditional media. It also means we have to work harder to continue to promote traditional media platforms as the pressure grows to move everything online…which is simply not appropriate in all cases. It means having more research on campaign effectiveness and not just measuring linear ROI. It means adapting our business to the changing media landscape and being even more professional in the advice we give.

Wonder what 2008 will show?

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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