A new report from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) finds that 44% of client-side marketers decreased their ad budgets during the 6 months prior to the survey, compared to just 17% who increased those budgets. The responses are indicative of a new environment whereby most marketers are tasked with finding cost-saving mechanisms, irrespective of economic realities. Still, while 44% decreased their ad budgets during the 6 months prior to the survey, only 27% expect to decrease them in the next 6 months.
Those marketers who no longer expect to decrease their ad budgets won’t be increasing them, though. Rather, they’ll just be maintaining current levels of spending. That is, while 38% reported steady levels of spending in the previous 6 months, that figure increases to 56% when looking ahead to the next 6 months. (The proportion who increased their spending is at 17% when looking backwards and forwards.)
Compared to the responses from last year, it seems that ad budget outlooks remain tepid, even if slightly improved. Last year, 34% forecasted a decrease in their advertising budgets in the 6 months following the survey. This year, that has dropped to 27%, with a corresponding 7% point increase in the share of marketers who will keep their budgets steady.
Kantar Media recently reported that total US advertising spending grew by 3% in 2012, up from a marginal 0.8% increase in 2011. A recent forecast from Warc calls for 2.2% ad spend growth in the US this year.
About the Data: The ANA report covers the findings from an online survey conducted by the ANA during January 2013. The ANA initiated the survey in the depths of the recession in 2009 as marketers experienced a decided push to reduce their budgets. This is the seventh edition, and likely the last, of the Recession Survey, as the economy is recovering and the ANA is seeing a stabilization of budgets. The objective of the survey is to understand how the current economic atmosphere is affecting client-side marketers.
In total, 120 client-side marketers are represented in the 2013 survey. Participants include members of the ANA survey community who are periodically surveyed on a range of timely, industry-related topics. Respondents to this survey have 15 years of experience in marketing, on average.