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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
digital COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITY EXCITES THE MARKET AIMIA reports that a signifi cant number of advertisers intend to increase their spend on digital this year. The growing interest in digital is not only on the advertising side, but also for service delivery. Furthermore, as consumers spend more time online, advertising dollars have followed. This increase has been driven by online video viewing as well as social networking. Most agree that the growing popularity of social media has provided marketing opportunities in terms of customer service but it is still an unknown as an advertising platform. Many underestimate the time involved in monitoring social media, especially Twitter, however ignoring any bad press, is to do so at the advertiser’s loss. The question remains as to how to monetise this fast-growing segment. Social media offers commercial opportunity John Butterworth CEO, Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) With the increasing popularity of social media what opportunities are available? It’s such a new area and moving very fast that no-one has a lot of experience yet and the commercial opportunities haven’t settled down. However given the amount of activity that consumers engage in with social media, there are opportunities there, nobody has quite cracked the general level on how to leverage these. Having said that, I would encourage people to explore this area – from AIMIA we know it’s an extremely good marketing and communications platform: how good it is an advertising platform, we don’t know yet. There have been a number of disasters experienced by advertisers – the structure and way people use it means that anything you do with any of the social media platforms has to be honest and transparent. Otherwise it can backfi re really quickly – the nature of social media is that news gets around very fast; so I would recommend that advertisers need to explore this area, try new things but be very clear about what their objectives are. How is mobile developing? 23 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 22 p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 22 3/7/09 11:56:42 AM 3/7/09 11:56:42 AM Mobile is tracking the development of the internet generally in a very similar manner; and it took a good four or fi ve years for the internet to become a platform for advertising and marketing. So is this the year of the mobile? No – this is another year for the growth of mobile as a platform for marketing and advertising. Is there anything in particular holding mobile back? The primary thing is data rates from the carriers. But that’s the same issue we used to have for the internet when people were charged by the hour and by the amount of data they downloaded which were two of the early business models; this tended to discourage people from being online and downloading, so people tended to stick to email. It’s certainly not mobile phone penetration as it’s been at saturation point for a few years now and there are more mobile phones than people; it’s interesting watching the growth in 3G-enabled phones which can access mobile web and currently we’re up to about nine million of those in the marketplace and it’s growing really quickly. Given the economic climate, how have advertisers modifi ed their demands? They would probably modify their demands on advertising agencies in terms of accountability. One of the common reasons people think that the digital world is still holding up comparatively well is that it is very accountable – looking at the last quarter, online advertising grew from the same period last year by 14%. At times like this, people become very particular about what their money is being spent on and what they’re getting for it. The accountability that digital advertising provides is one of the things that’s underpinning its popularity and continued growth: you can really see what your advertising dollars are doing for you. Digital agencies have always had that because that’s one of the key differentiators from a digital perspective. Generally, advertising agencies will be seeing their advertisers wanting more strategies, return on investment and crossplatform approaches. We’re seeing interest across digital generally – the use of digital for service delivery not just in advertising. Recently we released the “AIMIA Digital Services Index” report (completed April 30, released mid May) which surveyed end-clients about their intention of spending on digital services: a signifi cant number were going to increase their spend on digital this year. I think the current economic climate is actually helping this industry because people are looking for cost effi ciencies and accountability. What other trends do you see developing? The continued broadening of the digital world both in the consumer economy and the broader business economy. Consumer is happening organically – you just have to walk down the street to see that. On the business side it’s being driven fi rstly by some clarity over a national broadband network and secondly because people like us keep putting out data proving it’s a good idea to be investing in digital.
MT Resource 2010