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Is advertising becoming less important?


It seems like the elephant in the room but perhaps the painful truth is that this is indeed the case. According to the Bellwether marketing survey, Media budgets have declined as a proportion of total marketing spend from 37% in 2005 to 33% in 2006. The budget is shifting to below-the-line, to sales promotion, direct marketing and as we well know, under pressure from retailers, to in-store support. Should we be bothered?

A recent post on the Brand Strategy blog revealed the quite amazing results of some research conducted by the consultancy firm Prophet that showed that senior marketers feel they have virtually no control over the elements in their organisation that they believe are considered critical to business growth.

Over three quarters of them (76%) believed that customer experience and service were considerably more important growth drivers than business strategy and marketing strategy, and yet a sizable 24% of them admitted that they had little or no influence on either of them. Similarly, significant numbers felt they also lacked influence in other critical areas such as distribution/sales force strength, pricing, and product development. Almost a third even admitted to having little or no involvement in online/direct marketing.

Whilst 40% of marketers believed that brand and marketing activities had a high impact on their company’s growth, more than 60% of the companies questioned have no formal mechanisms in place for measuring that contribution to growth.

And, a quarter of senior marketers viewed advertising as an important driver of growth, but only five per cent considered it to be the most important factor.

Have we lost our belief in the power of great advertising to drive material business growth?

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