Online Advertising still strong even in a slow economy

With all of the economic doom and gloom going on these days, its good to know that one form of advertising is still working… Online! Google recent 4th Quarter results were a glimmer of hope for online marketers that there is still business to be had online. Actually online appears to be the place to be. While many marketers are going to be rearranging their budgets for 2009 (compared to 2008), it looks as the good amount of marketing dollars have already been moved online. According to a survey, conducted jointly by Hearst Electronics Group and Goldstein Group Communications (GGC) , nearly half (47%) of all marketing spending is going to online strategies. “While traditional media still play a role in building a balanced program, clearly online spending for webcasts, search engine marketing and generating online content are now seen as the primary drivers of branding and lead generation for most companies,” said GGC President Joel Goldstein. He also noted that it’s likely the increased pressure for program measurability and accountability in 2009 budgets is also a factor in pushing programs to more online spending. Many of the participants in the survey said they get their best leads from their website and search engines. GGC stresses that it is about quality and not quantity. This makes sense since it is much easier to target an audience online. “Online spending, which is 47% of total budgets, includes online video and social media, which are very small portions of the budget today but are expected to grow rapidly during the next few years,” said Goldstein. Another growth area in a shrinking economy. Search engine marketing currently consumes 11 percent of budgets, when including organic as well as pay-per-click programs. Hearst VP Publishing Director William Barron notes the importance of building strong brands carries through to Google and Yahoo! initiatives as well. Don’t discount the value of name recognition as you can see from your analytics, the top key words & phrases that are searched for from your website visitors will almost always contain your brand name. “The survey’s goal was both simple and straightforward,” said Barron. “Identify how companies are allocating dollars, what’s working and, most importantly, why. The survey reinforced that budgeting shouldn’t be a search for the ‘magic bullet’ but instead must follow a disciplined and proactive strategy.”

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Published On: Jan 23, 2009