Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 2, 2011 7:35 PM

When Is This Going To End?

Quick question: do you believe that advertising spend should match consumption patterns when it comes to media?

I sure hope you answered "yes!" Sadly, the Internet is still the red-headed stepchild of the media world. As consumption on both Internet and Mobile continues to rise (the other day, I tweeted about an eMarketer news item about how the Internet surpassed newspapers to become the second largest ad spend media platform after TV), the Web is still the Rodney Dangerfield of media (it gets no respect).

It needs more respect.

It turns out that eMarketer is at it again. Just a few days later another news item appeared titled, Ad Dollars Still Not Following Online and Mobile Usage (March 31st, 2011). Here's what the news item reported...

"Despite the projection that online advertising will increase its share of US major media ad spending by more than 10 percentage points between 2009 and 2015, spending on digital, including internet and mobile, has not yet risen to match consumption patterns, eMarketer estimates. Among the major media of television, internet, radio, mobile, newspapers and magazines, US adults still spend the most time each day with TV. eMarketer estimates adults watched television for 42.9% of the time they spent each day with those media in 2010, and ad dollars align closely, at 42.7%. The internet, by contrast, took up 25.2% of adults' daily media time in 2010, but received just 18.7% of US ad spending. 'Those of us focused on the internet channel have complained for years that it hasn't been getting its fair share of media dollars based on time spent,' said eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey. 'However, the precise extent of that imbalance has been shrouded in mystery and exaggeration. Now we know--it's a gap of 6.5 percentage points.'"

It's a big gap... it doesn't make any sense.

How is it that we have this new media channel move up through the ranks to become the number two most consumed media in the world and yet, still, marketers and brands are not pushing things further ahead? This could well be the first time in our history where the consumers and their patterns are moving at a pace that marketers can't seem to keep up with. On top of that, we're only looking at advertising spend. I'd be curious to see what the numbers look like in terms of coupling in the Digital Marketing budgets as well (the development of websites, apps, mobile platforms, e-crm initiatives, etc...). It would be interesting to see overall Digital Marketing spend and then how the advertising part of it makes out. Regardless, we need to get the advertising spend into the same realm as the media consumption.

If you ask me, I think it's tragic that the ad spend online does not (at least) equal consumption. What do you think?

By Mitch Joel