Traditional vs. New Media; Media Spend’s Sharp Decline; Marketing Plans Fail; CMOs Pick Up Slack

Majority Still Questions Blogs' Credibility: The Rosen Group polled Americans on their media preferences, and the results suggest that, despite the prominence of emerging digital media platforms, print is still deemed the most credible news source. Among the additional findings:

  • 60% of those surveyed said they do not consider a blog to be a trustworthy news format;
  • However, only 18% said that a newspaper was their first stop for news, suggesting that the Web components of established outlets are the most utilized format;
  • 83% said daily newspapers are still relevant but, when asked if they thought newspapers and magazines would still be circulating in 10 years, 40% said they were uncertain;
  • 53% still subscribe to the print version of a newspaper;
  • 80% still subscribe to magazines; and,
  • 7% seek out their favorite magazines online.

Source: The Rosen Group

Media Rollercoaster: Veronis Suhler Stevenson (parent company of PR News publisher Access Intelligence) revised its forecast in response to the current economic downturn, now predicting that overall media spend will decline by 0.4% in 2009, after an increase of 2.3% in 2008.

The figure for 2009 represents the lowest industry growth rate--and only the second decline--in the three decades that VSS has been collecting data. The forecast states that:

  • The hardest-hit media segments are newspaper publishing, projected to decline by 16% (following a 13.5% decline in 2008), and broadcast television, forecast to be off by 9% (following a decline of 0.5%);
  • The communications industry segments predicted to decline in 2009 include traditional media segments that have seen an increase in competitive alternatives, which offer stronger proof-of-performance and return-on-investment metrics at lower price points. These segments include traditional advertising as well as direct marketing, promotions and branded entertainment; and,
  • Communications segments expected to drive growth are those supported by institutional and consumer end-users seeking necessary data and information. These segments include pure-play Internet, mobile services and professional business information services.

Source: VSS

Marketing Plans Take a Beating: The current recession has taken a greater toll on the marketing industry than initially anticipated, according to reports from the Association of National Advertisers.

Conducted as a follow-up to a survey executed in August, the ANA's new results show an increased interest in cost savings with more budget reductions expected to follow.

  • Departmental salary or hiring freezes jumped to 57% from 45% six months ago;
  • 48% of marketers are looking at reducing agency compensation today, versus 32% six months ago;
  • In the original survey, 53% of marketers predicted their advertising budgets would be reduced in the next six months, but the new results reveal that 71% experienced a budget decrease;
  • When asked about the next six months, 49% of respondents believe their advertising budgets will be reduced even further.

Source: ANA

Calibrate How You Operate: The marketing industry is undergoing extreme change, as today's CMO is now expected to handle sales support, pricing, interactive strategy, lead development and prospecting, product development, go-to-market strategy, customer service and communications. Even though marketing is becoming more complex, it's still considered the least automated and most fragmented business process.

The CMO Council's study, sponsored by Alterian, observed that:

  • 50% of the 400-plus respondents consider overall marketing operational effectiveness the least developed operational area;
  • 41% pointed to siloed data and limited cross-functional feedback loops as major internal challenges subverting marketing operations;
  • 60% believe that marketing operational transformation is an essential area of focus; and,
  • Only 4.5% are very satisfied with their current level of marketing operational visibility, accountability and output.

Source: Alterian PRN