As every business development manager knows, online advertising sales usually get squeezed when companies fear a downturn — they cut their advertising spend while the storm clouds gather and only start spending again when the outlook improves. But if trends across the pond in the UK get mirrored stateside, things are on the way up for adland.
Business development managers across the UK are probably hugging themselves with jubilation right now: the British ad market has leapt back to levels not seen since before the meltdown of 2007 – and it’s on course to grow vigorously.
Internet drives the bounce-back
According to figures compiled by the trade body Warc and the Advertising Association, total advertising expenditure will grow by 2.7 per cent this year and by a positively jaunty 5 per cent in 2014. And internet advertising is leading the way, along with video-on-demand (VoD). However, traditional print and TV media are also seeing a resurgence in ad spending.
Marketing spend is widely seen as a barometer for the wider economy. As AA Chief Exec Tim Lefroy puts it:
“Advertising does not just track GDP, it drives it. The return to pre-recession levels of spending will have an impact not just on adland but the economy at large.”
It’s fair to point out that the UK had a very unique year in 2012, with the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee both contributing to a lift in the economy’s fortunes. The ad market responded favorably, climbing by 2.3 per cent to reach £17.17 ($26.72) billion. But even so, many experts thought these two factors would have a bigger positive impact than they in fact did.
Jubilant business development managers
The internet ad market is the big success story here. In 2012, it soared by 13 per cent to hit £5.42 ($8.44) billion, while TV stayed flat at £4.48 ($6.97) billion. And it’s on course to be the top performer again this year, with its share of ad spending set to climb by 10 per cent and by 9 per cent in 2014.
Also heading for an impressive leap is VoD, driven largely by the increasing uptake of mobile devices – consumers have embraced mobile video viewing in droves.
The UK is now the land of the happy business development manager. Let’s hope the US follows suit.