Merchants Adjust Marketing to Match Media Consumption

A close look at the numbers that have been tallied up for 2010 can tell us about the recovery in the ad market. The numbers can also indicate what marketers think about which media channels deserve a higher percentage of the ad budget. Most experts have been impressed with the rapid growth of the online ad sector. But eMarketer analysts suggest that this channel should gain even more of the ad dollar to match the amount of time consumers spend online.

If marketers were to fund each marketing channel strictly correlated to the time consumers spend with various media formats, TV would still come out the winner. Last year, U.S. consumers spent the largest portion of their time, 42.9% daily, engaged with TV. As a result,  in total, marketers allocated 42.7% of media spending on TV. eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey, says when it comes to online ad spending, he sees a huge mismatch. Previously, analysts and marketers were not exactly sure of the extent of the mismatch. But eMarketer research indicates that it’s a gap of 6.5%. Consumers spend 25.2% of their media time online. Marketer spend 18.7% of their budgets on online channels. eMarketer data also shows that consumers spend 8.1% of media time engaged with mobile devices. Marketers, so far, have only spent 0.5% of ad dollars on mobile. Analysts do point out, though, that not all mobile device time can be considered a possible resource space for advertising and say that this time is “devoted to communications activities marketers are not looking to interrupt.”

Of course, marketers must consider more than just a raw one-​to-​one ratio with respect to time spent versus influence when allocating the ad budget over multiple channels. However, the eMarketer study does provide an interesting top-​down analysis. The company’s analysts even calculate the rate of ad spending per hour by media format. For example, advertisers spent $0.53 for each hour consumers read newspapers versus $0.12 for each hour they spent online.

Marketers will likely be adjusting these percentages regularly as consumers continue to embrace content online.

[Source: Ad Dollars Still Not Following Online and Mobile Usage. Emarketer​.com. 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2011] 
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.