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Follow The Media Money

You’ve probably heard the catch phrase, “follow the money,” first popularized in the movie about the Watergate scandal, that detailed the work of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Since the 1970s, “follow the money” has seen extensive use by investigative journalists, and that’s what the most recent Borrell webinar looked at for 2023 with respect to media advertising dollars.

Media Spending Forecast

On November 29th Gordon Borrell and Corey Elliott presented Borrell’s Fall 2022 Fall Survey of Local Ad Agencies. Here’s how I interpreted the information they shared starting with the Top 5 types of media that agencies said their clients are planning to invest more money into next year, and also the 5 they will be cutting:

            Investing More $$$                Planning to Eliminate

            Streaming Video                     Printed Directories

            Social Media                           Newspapers

            Search Engine Marketing        Other Printed Publications

            Streaming Audio                     Magazines

            Website Ads                            Cable TV

At first blush, things don’t look so rosy for print media, however, wrapped into that media category “Website Ads” are the digital versions of newspapers and magazines, to name just two.

I’ve been a digital subscriber to the Washington Post newspaper for a couple of years now and I also read Atlantic Magazine digitally.

When it comes to radio, the number of advertisers who say they will buy more radio ads about equals the number who say they will buy less. In other words, broadcast radio advertising looks to be treading water in 2023.

High Usage, High Effectiveness

When it came to what types of media direct buyers say are the best, we find five of them:

  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Events
  • Banner Ads
  • Radio

OTT, Streaming Audio & ???

During the webinar I asked the following question:

“Streaming video is called Over-The-Top (OTT),

podcasts & other digital audio is called Streaming Audio,

what are digital newspapers and magazines called?”

Turns out the answer was both newspapers and magazines are included in the media category “Banner Ads” in this research.

So, while advertisers may not be interested in those paper and ink publications, they are interested in their digital products, and their digital offerings compete for the same ad dollars as broadcast radio and TV.

Broadcast TV was rated higher in effectiveness than radio by advertisers, but saw lower usage as one can assume it was most likely due to the cost of television advertising.

Streaming Audio

You can’t help to look at the high interest in “Streaming Audio” and not wonder why it doesn’t command more advertising dollars. Corey Elliott said the answer to this question of why they weren’t spending more ad dollars on streaming audio was simply that “no one pitched them.”

Search Engine Marketing #1

For direct buyers of advertising, Gordon Borrell pointed out that “for the first time in 13 years of surveying, broadcast TV doesn’t occupy the top spending spot, falling to roughly half of what it was in prior surveys.”

What beat broadcast TV was “Search Engine Marketing.”

Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves

the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility

in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.

-Wikipedia

In 2023, DIGITAL will account for $7 of every $10 spent on local advertising and 45% of local ad buyers will purchase their advertising from fewer than 3 media companies.

2023 is forecast to see broader usage of virtually everything.

The media companies that are positioned to enjoy success in 2023, are:

  1. The companies that have invested in training and retaining their sales people in the area of all things digital, and
  2. Focused their company to deliver media products consumers want and enjoy on every digital media platform.

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