Agencies Say Spot TV Top Ad Medium of Choice in Q4 ’11

January 31, 2012

strata-clients-top-ad-medium.jpgThe top medium of choice for clients in Q4 2011 was spot TV (broadcast and cable), reported by 51% of agencies, according to a survey released in January 2012 by STRATA. Digital was second, cited by 31% of agencies, down 9% from Q3, followed by spot radio (8%). Spot TV (broadcast) continues to be an area of interest, with 28% of those surveyed saying they are more focused on it than a year ago, up 12% from Q4 2010. Agencies are similarly excited about spot cable, with 26% saying they are more focused on it than a year ago, representing 66% growth from the previous year. In fact, 38% feel that spending will never be greater for digital than traditional media.

Clients Struggle With Value of Digital

Data from the survey indicates that 54% of agencies say clients do not understand the value of digital advertising. And although roughly 4 in 5 reported that their clients’ focus on digital was more than it was a year ago, that proportion represents a 4% decrease from Q3.

Meanwhile, Facebook remains the dominant social platform for ad campaigns, with 89% of agencies planning to utilize the medium for clients, followed by Twitter (39%), YouTube (36%), LinkedIn (21%), and Google+, which grew 28% of respondents from Q3 to reach 18%.

Mobile Advertising Rises, Led by iPhone

Agencies reported mobile advertising during Q4 2011 was up 39%, with the iPhone continuing to be the top choice, cited by 83%. Android is closing the gap, however, up 32% quarter-over-quarter and 50% year-over-year to reach 71% of respondents. The iPad remains in third (46%), although about three-quarters of respondents said that with Apple and Amazon continuing to focus on building tablet content, there will be an increase in interest in advertising on the medium.

For mobile advertising, the top option is display (46%), with SMS (25%) following, up 61% from Q4 2010.

Agencies Still Focused on Client Attraction

Client attraction (37%) remains the top agency challenge for the second straight quarter, ahead of client spending, which fell 13% to 19% of respondents. 16% of agencies cited advertising costs, nearly double the proportion identifying that challenge a year ago. In terms of measuring campaigns, determining ROI (47%) and merging digital and traditional (41%) were the top issues.

Agencies may be worrying about client attraction, but retention could be an issue, also: according to a survey released in January 2012 by the CMO Council, only 36% of marketers are committed to their agency relationships this year, with 49% saying that they may consolidate or change their global agency rosters. And just 5% of marketers report longstanding relationships with their agencies. A notable 32% are looking at selective replacement in their agency rosters, 9% see increased turnover of resource, and another 9% are decreasing the use of agencies.

Other Findings:

  • 81% of the STRATA survey respondents expect their client’s approach to advertising and marketing to either increase or stay the same, up 14% quarter-over-quarter, and almost half said they project the first half of 2012 to be better than the last half of 2011.
  • 31% of agencies said they plan to hire this year, up 29% over Q3 2011.
  • 42% said their 2012 political ad spend will be more than 2010, and 46% reported that during the political season they will advertise in alternative mediums to avoid competition by politicians, although 41% will compete with politicians for space on spot TV. According to a January 2012 updated forecast from MagnaGlobal, political ad spending will reach $2.5 billion this year for TV alone.

About the Data: STRATA conducted the survey of advertising agency respondents online and via telephone in Q4 2011, and had about 90 respondents.

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