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Game changing recession for advertising, says Initiative Worldwide CEO

United Arab Emirates: Thursday, March 26 - 2009 @ 13:18

According to Beaven, technological advances, changes to consumer behavior and a greater focus on results are creating a perfect storm for industry innovation and advancements.

Initiative partnered with Gulf Marketing Review to conduct an online survey with 250 senior marketers, with the aim of understanding how the recession is affecting marketing budget allocation in the Middle East and the growing need for accountability and measurability within the advertising industry.

The findings showed that over 50% of marketers had seen a decline in budgets in 2009 over 2008. 20% of these had seen budgets drop by over 50%. 90% of respondents felt that there was a greater pressure from clients to deliver results.

The survey also showed a greater emphasis on measurability with 75% of respondents agreeing that people meters to measure media audience are essential. 65% stated that they would not use a medium if return on investment could not be measured.

Beaven stated:

“The digital world provides us a lens through which to view results. With social networking technologies, we can now track the consumer’s journey through the information landscape to the point of purchase.”

Beaven added, “With these advances in measurement potential and the greater imperative for results from the client side, there is little excuse for the advertising industry not to raise their game and become more accountable for business results.”

Despite poor measurability, traditional media still accounted for the majority of advertising spend, although there was an increase in the percentage of marketing budget spent on less conventional marketing tools such as online and digital; PR and sponsorship; and sales and promotions.

In tandem with these changes, a study conducted by Media Brands, the management group for Initiative Worldwide, study of consumer behavior showed that the recession has not only changed consumption patterns, but consumers themselves. The key findings showed a return to a needs-based, rather than wants-based society and consumers actively avoiding exposure to advertising.

Despite this, the study revealed that consumers were unwilling to cut spending on ‘core’ communications technologies including internet and mobile phones. Findings also indicated that the change in consumer attitude will last well beyond the financial crisis.

“Our evidence shows that this is a game changing recession which will shift the focus of advertising from output to outcome, meaning the creation of solid business results. We will see a growth in performance based advertising and the development of tools to effectively monetize video, social media and mobile platforms, as well a growth in search marketing which provides the purest form of measurement,” concluded Beaven.

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Thursday, March 26- 2009 @ 13:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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