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Advertiser confidence twice as strong as media: SMG Media Futures 2015

Advertiser confidence twice as strong as media:  SMG Media Futures 2015

Advertisers are twice as optimistic about the year ahead compared to their media exec counterparts, forecasting a 2.7% spend growth, compared to 1.3%, according to this year’s Media Futures survey from Starcom MediaVest Group.

“For the last three years, we’ve seen modest ad spend predictions from both advertisers and media execs, which has aligned with actual industry spend figures.  Rather than this being cyclical, it now appears to be a structural change as the impact of dollars shifting from paid to owned media starts to hit,” said Starcom MediaVest Group CEO, Chris Nolan.

Social and mobile will see significant growth this year, while Facebook’s introduction of video ad formats last year has sparked huge growth in visual social spend.

“Last year we said there was a paradigm shift for marketers around personalisation and the strong growth in mobile, social and video reinforces that,” Nolan said.

This year for the first time the survey asked advertisers about their use of dynamic creative online ad solutions which allows advertisers to change ad messaging based on consumer behaviour.  In 2015, over half of advertisers expect to utilise dynamic creative solutions, up from 39% who used it last year. 

“The overwhelming feedback from advertisers who utilised dynamic creative last year was that it was incredibly successful and so we expect to see a stronger marriage of data and creative in place this year,” said Nolan.

For the third year in a row, the study recorded a decline in the proportion of advertisers using point-of-sale for their below-the-line efforts, while use of SMS campaigns is expected to increase.

“Increased consumer acceptance to allow location tracking and push notifications to mobiles enables advertisers to influence decisions near the point of purchase.  This is an important shift in a space that has traditionally been owned by retailers and in-store promotions,” Nolan said

Key themes and trends

  • Search, display and performance are maturing in their growth phase
  • The increase in spending on owned and earned media is expected to be almost 3.5 times that of the increase in total paid media
  • Australian social and mobile trends mirror global but with one of the world’s highest smart phone penetration rates, Australian marketers are poised to drive innovation in this space.
  • 70% of advertisers, agencies and publishers (up 56% from last year) say they will use data partners and data management platforms (DMPs) to optimise online campaigns.
  • The focus on ROI is also a hot topic for marketers, with sales modelling and social media monitoring the preferred approach for ROI analysis. Delivering results and effectiveness sits alongside meeting company objectives as the key pressures for marketers.

Overall, marketers face increased pressure to deliver more agile marketing approaches as new learning systems allow them to understand more about their customers in real-time.

“The technology to allow contextually relevant, tailored marketing to the individual is here and marketers are faced with the task of making it happen.

“The challenge for marketers is working out how much they are able to do in-house versus engaging agency partners to manage for them.  We are starting to see brands establishing in-house data and technology capabilities, such as DMPs and more recently programmatic buying capabilities, which will change the role agencies play for marketers,” he said.

About Media Futures

Now in its 30th year, Starcom MediaVest Group’s Media Futures Survey is considered one of Australia’s most authoritative predictors of expected advertising budget changes. It is the only survey of its kind of national advertisers and key media executives around the country. Interviews are conducted using telephone and online methodologies, with the fieldwork and data currently provided by McNair Ingenuity Research. The fieldwork was conducted from November 2014 through to January 2015. A representative sample of the top 500 advertisers and every major media sales director in the country participated in the current study. All results are compiled on the basis of one value for each interview, with no weighting according to either the size of the advertisers’ budget or media billings.

About Starcom MediaVest Group
SMG is the Human Experience Company. We believe experiences matter. They enhance lives and build brands. We bring brand experiences to life through SMG's three global award winning agency brands: Starcom, MediaVest, and Spark. In 2014, SMG was named Media Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. SMG was also named Festival of Media Global Network of the Year for the second year in a row. Ranked the number one global media network in billings in the world by RECMA, SMG ( encompasses an integrated network of human experience strategists, investment specialists, content creators and digital & technology experts. With over 8,000 employees in 130 offices worldwide, SMG partners with the world's leading companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, P&G, and Walmart.  In Australia SMG has 5 offices and more than 200 employees creating experiences for partners such as Suncorp, Optus, Virgin Mobile Australia, MARS, SAMSUNG, Subaru and Metcash. We were named Festival of Media, Global Media Agency of the Year in 2012 and have made the BRW Top 30 Most Innovative Companies List 3 years running.

Follow us via @StarcomAus or @cmnolan68 on Twitter.

SMG is part of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40],
one of the world’s leading communications groups.

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