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Australian Ad Spend: Patchy Market Conditions; Digital Ahead of the Game
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Australian Ad Spend: Patchy Market Conditions; Digital Ahead of the Game

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Consumers are branching out to new screens and increasing the number of media hours in their days – and marketers are following suit. Advertising on digital media platforms is growing by leaps and bounds, with online (in particular, online video and mobile) experiencing the strongest growth – highlighting the importance of multi-platform strategies to brand marketers.

Our latest advertiser figures for the year ending June 2013, shows patchy market conditions with overall ad spend down by – 4.5 percent. Online, cinema, and out-of-home were the only media channels to record notable year-on-year growth.

Despite the downward trend overall, it is interesting to note that six of the top 10 advertisers actually increased their advertising investment, with the number one advertiser in the country, Westfarmers, increasing its spend by 7.5 percent, spread across TV, online and cinema.

The contraction in Australian ad spend is not entirely surprising when you consider the challenging environment we have been working in over the past year, which has ultimately affected the confidence of businesses to invest in advertising.

Things are looking up, however, with consumers displaying renewed signs of optimism according to the latest Nielsen consumer confidence figures. The Australian consumer confidence index was 98 in Q2 2013 – five index points higher than the previous quarter and eight points higher than the same period in 2012. (See chart 1.) The survey findings also expose a distinct rise in spending intentions, with almost half of online Aussies (45%) saying the next 12 months will be a good time to buy the things they want and need – an increase of 8 percentage points from the same quarter a year ago.

Moving forward, it will be critical for advertisers to measure the 3Rs – Reach, Resonance and Reaction, for marketing campaigns across multiple media platforms. Advertisers that achieve the best results will understand exactly who a campaign reached, whether the campaign resonated with those that were exposed to it, and whether it ultimately resulted in a reaction – a conversion to sale.