Ad Spends to Drop in 2009 but Should Yours?

The parent company of Just Media’s London office, Aegis Media, have just announced their 2009 media ad spend predication’s. Global decline was predicted as being down by 5.8% while in the US this figure was predicted to fall by 9.8%.

For an industry that creaks and groans as soon as it is not experiencing year on year increases or 2-3% this data may appear to be a disaster but lets look at this more realistically.

Media rates have softened and it’s entirely possible that much of this decline can be absorbed by cost reductions in strongly negotiated media buys. So any company who actually does slash a budget by 10% is probably going to net out with almost as much media as before.

Also a 10% decline in budgets means that for every marketer who is slashing their budget significantly (you perhaps?) there are others who are seeing the opportunity to grab market share of voice and actually increase activity. Also historically we know that those that do slash hard, also tend to be the most conservative and the slowest to come back.

Within the tech sector and indeed our own client base we have seen this pattern emerge. Some clients have reacted to market pressures by slashing back on spend and consolidating all activity into lead gen programs – completely abandoning significant outbound awareness marketing programs. Others are seizing the opportunity afforded by softer rates to buy stronger integrated campaigns which include a balanced mix of above the line components such as print ads, advertorials and targeted banner creative with direct contact strategies or lead development through content syndication, small personal events programs and virtual and web events.

While I fully understand the natural reaction within executives is to look at instant cost reduction (I am a CEO after all) I can only hope that marketing professionals in tech companies are not bowing to pressures and making decisions that will in the long term prove to be counter intuitive.

This is not the first recession we have seen and it’s won’t be the last. Ever noticed the pattern that those who emerge the strongest each time are the companies who didn’t disappear off the face of the planet and stop talking to their customers?

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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