Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 22, 2009 7:05 AM

When The Advertising Slowdown Picks Up

As things continue to worsen in the advertising marketplace, there does seem to be one glimmer of hope. Can you guess which advertising vertical is going to grow this year?

Before we hop into the good news, the hardest hit will be magazines, terrestrial radio, newspapers and print yellow pages. All of those areas will experience a 9% decrease (at least) according to a Myers Publishing report in the eMarketer news item, Ad Cutbacks: A Silver Lining?

And here's the "no surprise" other side of the coin:

"The good news is that Myers sees the online sector, 12% of the advertising market, growing 2.7% in 2009. Most of the growth will come from search (8%) and display (1%), but a collection of newer online ad vehicles, including online video and social networks, should see a rapid increase (25%)."

On top this, some of the other research firms are publishing differing numbers (according to the same news item):

"Oppenheimer and Co., JupiterResearch and Borrell Associates estimated higher online advertising growth than Myers, at 21%, 14.8% and 7.2%, respectively. UBS, at -5%, Cowen and Co., at -1%, and Credit Suisse, at 0.1%, all had lower estimates."

There are two obvious meta reasons for this increase (or, if you follow the more dismal numbers, the flattening): 

1. Experimentation. Advertisers who have not yet to take the online advertising plunge are going to have to try something different and new to shake up what they have done in the past.

2. Optimization. Advertisers who have been deeply engaged in online advertising are going to shift some of their traditional advertising dollars to this channel to gain efficiencies, target people who are already looking for their products and services, and get smarter at using web analytics to drive insights and better results for their messaging.

That, in and of itself, is interesting to note.

Those who have never done it, are now going to be forced to try something new, and those who has been using online advertising in their integrated marketing mix are going to amp up the volume on the areas where they can measure and affect change in the results more readily.

But wait, there's more...

These research reports are only looking at the online advertising side of Digital Marketing. More and more companies are still going to invest in their Digital properties in terms of pure strategy, design and build. They are looking for ways to "get their message out there." At the same time, more and more people are having their first brand interactions at the search box. Actually having a modern, user-centric and search engine friendly home-base is becoming core to daily operation - especially as more traffic is being driven to websites via the online social networks, social media and overall online chatter and buzz.

It's going to be interesting to see which of these numbers are accurate and if online advertising was able to be semi-recession proof.

By Mitch Joel