Ad Spending on Track to Finish a Strong 2012

The economic recovery may be wobbling, but marketers aren’t letting that slow them down. Agencies surveyed by STRATA report a positive business outlook. While industry observers may believe the growth in ad expenditures is linked to political campaigning, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Virtually all ad agencies in the STRATA survey expect a strong finish this year. And 40% believe they’ll see growth between now and year-​end. This means agencies expect to maintain current staffing levels and even increase the number of people they employ, at least through December.

A significant force in the demand for more creative services and media space is linked to the political campaigns. As we draw closer to election day, politicians and PACS will be buying ads. This trend drives up costs especially since 86% of politicians and PACS believe they will maintain or increase advertising when compared to 2010. And, for political advertising, the focus is on TV. About 4 in 10 agencies say their clients want spot TV.

Non-​political advertisers will compete for ad space (42%) while others, 40%, will look for alternate formats in which to roll out their messages.

Agencies also reported other notable trends for media spending:

  • Spot radio advertising is increasing
  • Facebook still rules in the social network market with 87.3% of marketers using the format. Only 38% use Twitter
  • Display advertising is an area of focus for 79% of marketers
  • Pinterest, as the new kid on the block, is showing up in about 15% of campaigns, making it more  popular than Foursquare or Google

Digital advertising continues to grow steadily. So far this year, the format has seen a 26% growth rate. But despite its popularity, digital has limits. Nearly half of agencies, 44%, say it will not become larger than traditional media expenditures in the foreseeable future.

[Source: STRATA Survey. Gotostrata​.com. 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.