Ad Budgets Increase Slightly, With Need For More Content

Advertising budgets are rising -- but so are expectations, according to a study conducted by The CMO Club in partnership with IBM, which found that 57% of chief marketing officers who participated in the survey indicated their budgets would increase to some extent during the next two to three years.

Advertisers may only slightly increase annual budgets this year, but those who increase dollars spent are making investments in content. The joint study surveyed 100 chief marketing officers (CMOs).

CMO said content will take the majority of the budget at 13%, followed by digital advertising at 11%; traditional advertising at 11%; and analog, physical activities at 11%.

Content may have become the most sought after media, but it also has become the most complicated. Anne-Marie Gaultier, VP of global marketing at Bally, points in the whitepaper to adapting the content to digital tools as one of the major challenges today.

Dynamic campaigns could require hundreds of pieces of creative content. Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG, said programmatic technology continues to drive the need for more content, ad sizes and creative versions because the technology can finely target audience segments. He said programmatic technology made it easy to transact media orders, but it created the need for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of creative versions of an advertisement per campaign.

Optishot, an at-home golf simulator company, targeted about 36 audience segments with four themes such as value and cost, which made up more than 100 segments. The creative also specified specific offers and messages and prices for products or services depending on the location the ad serves. It requires hundreds of versions for the campaign.

Wong shared Optishot's findings outlined in a case study that combines programmatic media and creative. For Optishot, the campaign drove 565% increase in direct sales year over year, and an 85% lift to sales conversion rates on visits from optimized creative pieces. It beat Google click-through rates on benchmarks by 1.2- to 2.8-times with the majority of creative and media combinations to ultimately produce a 1.5-times return on ad spend.

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