Thursday, June 21, 2007

RIP ~ ATL (well almost)

We have been discussing & reading about research which indicates drop in the ATL spends while there is corresponding increase in the BTL (including online) spends by one industry vertical after another. However, the recent research article based on the survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK – the "Marketing Trends Survey," conducted by Ipsos MORI, kind of made me sit up and marvel at the speed at which the change is happening.

As per the survey only 15% of the marketing budget is planned to be invested into adverting, the balance is opportunities in the “btl and digital” domains:
deep dive into the article here:

However, going a little back in time, the trend was eminent (the scale and speed are stunning) and inline with a different research undertaken by IDC in the US years back, which was focused on the major IT industry spenders, which very clearly indicated an intention to drop spends on both org. personnel and the $ spends on ATL (as much as 20%) while moving larger allocations to Direct. This was 3 years back.

Also very clear where the areas of focus for most marketing decision makers / spenders. They were obviously gunning for tools which had worked and showed the higher returns on
marketing dollars as against the traditional media. This was more so in verticals where the marketing spends were predominantly focused on a B2b or B2 “a well defined C” formats. Lead generation and digital were the areas to place bets on! (refer below) In a way what was projected as “possibilities” in 2003 are turning to realities in 2007.

However, I think the trend has never been questioned in the last decade or so (other than by a few die hard ATL fans). It is also very obvious from the investments being made by media holding companies: they are without doubt investing into marketing services and digital. That’s where the growths are.

The fact that BTL (read promo) outweighs ATL, was established in markets like the US as way back as 03. Well documented in the PMA and Promo study. Below is the image from the study presentation which had shaken all of us then, where-in it was 1st established that Promo spends are higher than ATL in the US.

While the facts and figures are beyond doubt, and the trend is moving eastwards, the reasons for the change in scenario is simple – better and defined ROI, period.

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