The study, which was released Thursday morning during a free-wheeling and far- ranging panel discussion by AAF Hall of Achievement Alumni (see related story), also found the majority (72%) of industry leaders believe the ad business is in recovery mode, but that most (54%) doubt there are any immediate prospects for strong growth.
Asked what lessons they've learned from the "boom/bust cycle of the last five years," respondents overwhelmingly cited the need to take steps during future growth periods to prepare for inevitable downturns (45%).
Factors Representing the Most Significant Change for Ad Biz:
Over the Past Five Years Over the Next Five Years
Audience Fragmentation: 80% Audience Fragmentation: 34%
Agency/Media Consolidation: 78% Content/Marketing Convergence: 21%
Accountability/ROI: 67% New Technology Threats to Ads: 16%
Agency (Media) Unbundling: 55% Multicultural Ad Growth: 16%
Dot-com Bubble Bust: 51% Growth of the Internet: 7%
Changing Role Of Agencies: 51% Increased TV Clutter: 5%
Source: American Advertising Federation. Based on an Atlantic Media Co. survey of ad industry leaders including advertiser (16%), agency (42%), media (16%), academic (15%), and "other" (12%) respondents.
The study also revealed some startling differences between agencies and advertisers over some key advertising issues. A much greater percentage of agency respondents (25%), for example, cited the need to demonstrate advertising/marketing return on investment than marketer respondents (18%). In terms of the need to "develop compelling creative," the contrast was even more telling: 36% of client executives saw the need, 0% of agency executives agreed.
Agency respondents (82%) were slightly attuned to issues surrounding audience fragmentation than advertiser respondents (73%). Agencies (68%) were also far more concerned about the convergence of content and marketing than clients (36%), while more clients (73%) believe new technologies such as TiVo may threaten traditional advertising formats than agencies (61%).
The survey was conducted for the AAF by Atlantic Media Co., publisher of The Atlantic Monthly magazine. Response rates were not disclosed.