Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser has issued a third-quarter spending report that corroborates what agency executives have been saying all year — traditional marketers aren’t spending a whole lot more on marketing-related activities than they have in the past.
And actually, if you’re a marketer competing in the current economic climate, that’s probably the right path. I mean, they’re already spending a bundle. Why should they spend more?
But that’s not great news for publicly traded ad-holding companies, whose investors — taskmasters that they are — want to see consistent growth, which the holding companies as a group have failed to deliver in the last couple of quarters.
According to Wieser, median spending growth (based on a composite of nearly 30 “traditional” marketers reporting their spending for the quarter) was a “tepid” 1.6%.
Wieser cites a bunch of traditional marketers that pulled way back on spending during the quarter, including Nike (-18%) and American Express (-12%).
But the trend is the reverse for what Wieser terms “web endemic” marketers, among which the median spend was up 20%.
The numbers are not really surprising, but rather reinforce the ongoing digital transformation. As Wieser notes, “the data continues to reinforce our view that large traditional advertisers are increasing their spending at a much slower pace that faster growing digital oriented marketers.”
Of course, it’s no secret that marketers, in a further bid to cut costs, have been putting the squeeze on agency fees for some time now.
And in a trickle-down kind of way, that explains why the holding companies and are demanding, and receiving concessions of their own, from companies like Ascential, the organization that puts on the Cannes Lion festival.