When is this market going to turn? Has it already? What indicators should we look to? Everyone has their own set of answers to these questions. Here’s another.
In the past, we would have noticed an upswing in traditional media spends as a sign of a positive change, but we haven’t been through this serious of a recession since the world of online was considered a legitimate medium. The truth is, online still only accounts for a very small portion of media spends, but it’s obvious that more and more budgets will be given to online as consumers turn off their TV sets and close the magazines to view content online.
According to eMarketer, online ad spending is up 11 percent from the first quarter, and ROI on that spend is up approximately 6 percent. While the actual dollar amounts are still low, a 11 percent increase is a great thing to see considering how the last 18 months have been going. More encouraging is that ROI is up 6 percent, which will hopefully cause marketers to look to online as another tactic to add to their arsenal.
Another interesting fact, 22 percent of all online ads appear on social networks according to Neilsen, with MySpace having a slight edge over Facebook as of September 29, 2009. The more surprising number is 3.5 percent. That’s the percentage of online spending used on social ads. This is huge. 22 percent of the ads on the web are being purchased using 3.5 percent of internet ad dollars! The jury is still out on the true effectiveness of that investment, but being able to speak to very specific targets on the place where Neilsen also reports that American consumers are spending 17 percent of their internet time is something to take into consideration. Imagine if you could get that type of exposure on television?
Business Week is also reporting an increase in search spending over the past two consecutive quarters by 7.7 percent. This is reflected in Google and Bing as well who both showed at least a 9 percent increase in search revenue.
Back to the question of indicators. Is this is a sign of recovery? Yes and no. The problem is we aren’t necessarily seeing an increase in actual dollar spending in overall budgets yet. This could simply be a shift in spending. It’s clear that online is beginning to recover nicely, whether this will spider out to other mediums, we’ll have to wait and see.