Strata Advertising Agency Survey – Uncertainty Sweeps Madison Avenue as Budgets Decrease

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In a recent Strata survey, it was found that the number of advertising agencies anticipating slower growth in the second half of 2017 compared to the first half increased by 158% from the previous quarter.

Over 40% of respondents thought new business was their main concern, with 23% reporting client spending as their biggest concern.

Over 60% of agencies expect their budgets to stay the same or decrease, with 28% expecting an increase. Only 25% anticipated the need to expand staff, a 35% decrease compared to the previous quarter.

“The advertising economy quarterly results, at first glance, are pretty bleak. However, when put in perspective, 2016 was a banner year with the US Elections and the Olympics. Even without general economic uncertainty it would be difficult to sustain that type of growth,” said Judd Rubin, Senior Vice President at Strata.

When it comes to projected platform use, social media has seen a shakeup. Facebook remains perched on top on top with 97% of agencies intending to use it, but Instagram’s projected usage has risen to 64%. YouTube has fallen to 3rdat 60%, and Twitter remains in 4th with 38%.

In spite of these shifts, ad spend on social media hasn’t moved significantly. In addition, 22% of agencies allocate 11-25% of their budgets on social, 74% plan to spend less than 10%.

Focus on traditional media remains strong, with 66% reporting their client’s interest in network TV & cable remained the same when compared to last year. The same could be said for radio at  63%, local TV and cable at 62%. In other forms of media, 76% indicated that their clients were showing a greater interest in digital video, while 78% reported a grown desire of their clients to advertise more on mobile. Nearly half (46%) of agencies also reported that their clients were curious to explore new live streaming technologies such as Facebook Live to spread their campaigns.

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