My buddies at Razorfish just published the Sixth Annual Razorfish Outlook Report. It provides an annual snapshot of how and where executives are investing their media dollars—it looks like social-media expenditures and experiments are making a comeback. Here are some highlights:
1. Razorfish clients’ spending on digital media increased 4 percent for 2009, versus a 13 percent decrease in 2008. This suggests increasing optimism and perhaps an economic recovery.
2. During the recession, marketers generally kept consistent their mix of brand/direct response marketing spend. But of those that did switch tactics, 60 percent actually shifted to more brand-focused marketing. This challenges conventional wisdom about spending during lean times.
3. Google still dominates search, but not for long. Razorfish expects the combination of Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! to challenge Google’s dominance. About 45 percent of Razorfish clients’ media spend in 2009 was invested into the search/portal category—the equivalent of the “traditional spend” in the digital world.
4. Many marketers experimented during the recession. One hundred percent of Razorfish clients that tried digital out-of-home marketing did so for the first time in 2009. More than 80 percent of clients investing in ad exchanges in 2009 were doing so for the first time. All told, the channels which clients experimented with the most in 2009 included ad exchanges and digital out-of-home.
5. Spend on ad exchanges and networks grew in 2009 while spend on portals decreased by about 4 percent. Razorfish predicts more growth in ad exchanges in coming months.
6. Social media garnered only 4 percent of marketers’ media spend. That’s because social ads can be bought on the cheap, and a lot of investment into social goes to the labor costs that don’t get tracked as media spend.
7. Mobile continues to gain in popularity, but it remains a small portion of marketers’ media buy. Why? Because marketers are spending more on mobile applications and infrastructure, not paid media. Razorfish believes new platforms like Apple’s iAd might dramatically alter the mobile landscape.
8. Twitter belongs to brands now. Advertising on Twitter remains a work in progress, but brand building is a different matter. Razorfish expects more companies from multiple industries to follow the trail blazed by companies like Dell, Best Buy, and Whole Foods.
9. Interactive TV remains more intriguing to talk about than to embrace as an advertising model. The amount of ad inventory available within interactive TV remains miniscule. The biggest barrier to success is that cable companies lack the incentive to change the current model.
10. Marketers should take look at Brazil if you’re going global with a brand. Nearly 70 million people in Brazil, known as Classe C, are becoming upwardly mobile, with nearly half buying computers and smart phones.
Get your copy of the 2010 Razorfish Outlook Report. You can also follow the content that Razorfish puts out at my website.