Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Carat Insight Reports on Global Ad Spending

So...the dreaded R word. It's always scary in the ad biz to acknowledge a recession, but truth beats ignorance, and this new report from Carat Insight, entitled "Advertising Progression Through a Recession" is a great analysis of the state of the economy and how to cost effectively build your brand despite tightening sales and resources.

For those of you not familiar, Carat Insight is a special unit within Carat that analyzes critical trends and developments in the media space globally so that the company and its clients can capitalize on them effectively. I worked at Carat, and while I was never on this august team, I can attest that these people are smartypantses, and I mean that in a very complimentary way.

I'm not going to regurgitate the entire report, but here are some highlights.

Carat notes that the economy is the number one concern of US adults, as demonstrated in this Nielsen survey data:

Concomitant with that info is the fact that consumer confidence is WAY DOWN over even just a year ago.

Interestingly, many Americans blame the Iraq War for key economic issues:

Now, none of that stuff may come as a surprise to you. But what about these items:

1. Consumers are moving to lower end and club stores, as is evidenced in this survey data from ChangeWave:

2. Interestingly, until the most recent recessions, advertisers used to GROW spending during downturns, albeit at slower rates than during growth cycles.

That was a surprise to me, perhaps because during my entire career (which is covered by those two recessions, ad spend always declined.

3. And there is the PIMS study growth matrix, which analyzes the effects of ad spending changes on market share in upturns and downturns. This graph is a pretty comprehensive analysis across a large variety of industries.

Net net, advertise and gain share.

Anyway, I have barely scratched the surface of the excellent content available in this study. Download it now and you'll see how valuable it is.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.

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