Business Owners to Increase Traditional Media Spend

Traditional media is not dead. Spending increases were recorded in some traditional media channels at the end of 2011. This trend means that agencies may have to temper their enthusiasm for new media and include traditional media in their budget allocation recommendations to clients.

In a 2012 RSW/​US New Year Outlook Survey, both agencies and clients are looking for a shift in media spending from traditional to digital. But agencies are definitely feeling more aggressive on this topic. Here are the percentages of agencies that believe there will be somewhat higher  spending in the following digital categories next year:

  • Social media 61%
  • Email marketing 54%
  • Mobile 51%
  • Display/​banner 48%
  • SEO 48%

However, clients have a slightly different take on where they’ll be making marketing spending changes this year. Many agree that they’ll spend more on social media, 57%, and email marketing, 53%, but only 38% see somewhat higher spending on mobile and only 26% see somewhat higher spending on display/​banner.

Clients also indicate they are not going to be as fast to phase out spending on traditional media channels as agencies presume. Here are the percentages of clients that plan to spend somewhat or significantly higher on traditional categories. (The number in parentheses indicate the plans of agencies to allocate somewhat  or significantly higher budgets to these categories.)

  •  Radio 18% (3%)
  • Print 22% (6%)
  • Direct mail 25% (17%)

Client attitudes about traditional media seem to mirror the changes in traditional ad spending that took place in 2011. Kantar Media data indicates that advertisers increased TV spending 3.2%, Radio 1.1%, and outdoor 3.2% during the July-​September time frame, indicating their belief that these channels are working for them.

Finally, about 65% of surveyed agencies believe the economy is improving while only 41% of marketers believe the same thing. One reason for agency optimism may be the anticipated increase in business opportunities. Nearly half of agencies saw improvement in 2011 and almost ¾’s see the business opportunity improving for 2012. But for opportunity to turn into business, agencies will need to demonstrate that they are listening to clients and can carry out their campaigns on both the traditional and digital fronts.

[Source: 2012 RSW/​US New Year Outlook Survey. Rswus​.com. 2012. Web. 16 Jan. 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.