The latest figures for online ad spend are an eye opening read. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, internet advertising expenditure increased by 21% year on year in the first half of 2008, while the total ad market fell by 0.7% in the same period.
Now these figures do cover a period before the credit crunch truly kicked in but the slow down was already starting and confidence was already falling, so they do reflect behaviour in belt tightening times.
The main headline is that when the advertising market as a whole is cutting back, internet spend continues to rise. And why is this? It is because companies know that online advertising is affordable, accountable and effective.
Online ads have the potential to reach a world of consumers and many online ads only cost per click, so you don’t pay for ineffective advertising. Meanwhile, pay-per-click campaigns and banner leads alike can be monitored to record the direct correlation between advert – interest- spend, so scrutinising management boards can see the tangible results of advertising on the net.
So even when businesses need to cut overheads they have learned that to do so online is a false economy. In my view, if cuts can be concentrated elsewhere they should be because a continued investment in an online presence will always deliver a strong return.
In fact, a bold policy of actually injecting extra online advertising investment now could be the best business decision an MD makes all year. Imagine having your brand all over the internet when your rivals are hiding behind the office photocopier.
And those with an online business should be equally bold. Promote your business and be prepared for extra traffic by ensuring that your hosting solution is up to scratch. Don’t run the risk of downtime when the online marketplace is at the fore. Invest in a dedicated hosting solution to ensure that you are equipped to beat the crunch.