Ad Execs Say Brand Advertising Will Represent Nearly 60 Percent of Their Digital Spend in 2012

Industry Survey Finds Clients and Agencies Agree: Brand Lift is Key Measure of Online Ad Success

San Francisco (January 9, 2012) In a recent survey of more than 450 advertising executives, marketers said that they will be allocating nearly 60% of their online budgets to brand advertising in 2012, indicating that spending on online branding may surpass spending on direct response advertising for the first time in the coming year. Some other top line findings from the report:

  • 64% of marketers plan to increase their online brand advertising budgets in 2012, with 22% saying they will increase spending by more than 20%.
  • In contrast, only 56% of marketers plan to increase their online direct response advertising budgets in 2012, with only 15% saying they will increase spending by more than 20%.
  • Additionally, 60% of marketers responding indicated that they are allocating dollars away from direct response to brand advertising initiatives.

"These growth predictions are clearly optimistic, but very encouraging nonetheless," says Dan Beltramo, CEO of Vizu, an online ad technology company that enables advertisers and publishers to measure and optimize Brand Lift in real-time. "There's still more that needs to be done in order to realize those numbers and make online the medium of choice for brand advertisers. I believe that when brand advertisers understand that their online ads can now be measured and optimized using classic offline brand metrics such as awareness and purchase intent, we will see a further growth in their online ad budgets."

Marketers agreed with Mr. Beltramo. When asked what would lead them to increase spending on online brand advertising:

  • Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) said "Improved clarity around the actual return on brand advertising investment."
  • A majority (56%) also cited the "Ability to verify my brand advertising created the desired result (e.g. increased awareness of my product)."
  • In addition, a majority of respondents (53%) indicated the "Ability to use the same metrics to evaluate brand advertising effectiveness online as are used offline."

"These issues are all indicative of a 'metrics morass' in the online medium, which often leads to information overload for brand marketers when trying to determine the efficacy of their advertising," adds Mr. Beltramo. "In fact, 34% of respondents described themselves as 'drowning in data' when it comes to the online channel."

Brands and agencies are in agreement on which metrics they would like to use to determine the effectiveness of online brand advertising:

  • In the top spot, 8 in 10 of both agency and brand respondents said "Brand Lift generated as a result of the advertising."
  • A majority (over 50%) of both also agree on "Sales generated as a result of the advertising."

The survey also identified several opportunities to improve collaboration between brands and their partners in the digital media ecosystem, and maximize the value of online brand advertising initiatives:

Alignment around objectives:

  • A vast majority (85%) of brands said it was "very important" to establish the primary marketing objective for a brand advertising campaign, and the metric used to measure performance against that objective, in advance of their campaign.
  • Three quarters (73%) of media sellers also highlight the importance of this alignment, saying agreement around "what constitutes success" for the campaign was the number one thing that would help them improve results for advertisers.
  • Unfortunately, only 18 percent of agencies said they are able to establish a single objective against which ROI will be measured with their clients in advance of a campaign.

Alignment around metrics used to measure performance against objectives:

  • Brand marketers clearly indicate by a wide margin (55%) that they'd prefer to use "the exact same metrics used in the offline medium, and a few additional metrics specific to the online medium."
  • Media sellers, however, by a large margin (77%), say that they're most likely to report only metrics related specifically to the online medium.

Alignment around metrics used to optimize performance against objectives:

  • Nearly all brand marketers ranked "in-market optimization of campaigns against brand metrics" as "very important."
  • Agencies, however, said they are primarily optimizing against various measures of engagement (58% of the time) or even click-through rates (19%), as opposed to Brand Lift (16%).
  • Not surprisingly, media sellers' answers mirrored those of the agencies with whom they work.

"There are obviously opportunities to improve online brand advertising outcomes by ensuring everyone's on the same page," says Mr. Beltramo, "and our customers leverage Vizu's technology to do just that. The last 10 years was the decade of direct response marketing online, but this will be the decade of online branding, and we're excited to be a part of that."

This study, conducted in November and December of 2011, was executed by Digiday and sponsored by Vizu Corporation. Download the full report here:
http://brandlift.vizu.com/knowledge-resources/research/2012-industry-outlook/

You can also benchmark your organization's brand advertising practices against industry best practices identified in this report here:
http://brandlift.vizu.com/knowledge-resources/brand-ad-iq/

Digiday (www.digiday.com) is a media company and community for professionals who work in the digital media, marketing and advertising industry. Its mission is to connect the industry with insightful analysis and perspective, as well as each other. They provide key insights and information through their online publications and conferences that cover the changes, trends -- and why they matter. They cover the industry with an expertise, depth and tone not find anywhere else. See Digiday.com to read or subscribe to their publications or for information on events; join Digiday LinkedIn or Facebook groups; follow them on Twitter @Digiday or their show commentary with #Digiday; or tune into live-streamed and archived video coverage of their events on their Livestream channel.

Vizu Corporation (www.brandlift.com) brings the same metrics used to measure and optimize brand advertising effectiveness in the offline world to the online medium. By providing the first real-time, enterprise technology platform that allows brand advertisers and their partners in the digital media ecosystem – publishers, ad networks, exchanges, and demand side platforms – to collaborate around measuring and optimizing Brand Lift metrics, Vizu enables its customers to move their target audience through the purchase funnel, from building awareness to creating intent and preference. Vizu's brand advertising effectiveness platform is used by over 60% of Advertising Age's Top 100 Brand Advertisers and Top 50 Media properties to support all key aspects of the advertising lifecycle, including media buying, audience profiling, and Brand Lift optimization.

Media Contacts

Vizu Corporation
Jeff Smith
pressinquiries@vizu.com
415-362-8498 x 205
http://www.brandlift.com

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