Gordon Borrell says that in addition to that decrease, digital was up $1.3 billion. In 2017, he says, core TV spending will be flat, with digital outselling traditional media. What stations need to do, he advises, is show advertisers how broadcast spend can help drive traffic to their website or Facebook page. “When they begin to put the two together — that broadcast advertising drives digital traffic better than anything else, and it does — than you’re going to see more … advertising."
Borrell: ’16 Political Spend Down $1B From ’12
Local TV political ad spending was down $1 billion this year compared to 2012, while digital saw an increase of $1.3 billion, according Gordon Borrell, founder and CEO of the research and consulting firm Borrell Associates. Factoring out election-year political spend, he predicted that growth in core TV ad spend will be “essentially flat” in 2017.
“Digital has hit one of the last protected advertising segments — political,” Borrell said in his keynote presentation on Day Two of TVNewsCheck’s NewsTECHForum in New York. “The lesson from this year is that you can win without spending a huge amount on television.”
Looking to the future, Borrell expects 2017 to be the year that digital finally surpasses traditional media advertising. He predicts a 22.5% increase in digital media advertising and a 6.9% decrease in traditional ad spending next year, bringing total spend up to $80.7 billion in digital and $62.9 billion in traditional. “It’s very clear that advertisers are borrowing from traditional sources to fund digital,” Borrell said.
“Advertisers are still deeply in love with digital, specifically social” he added. “It’s measurable, easy, cheap and it works. Facebook has cracked the code — nearly 90% of advertisers say they’re satisfied with their Facebook advertising.”
Despite the advertisers’ infatuation with social, there is still hope for traditional media, so long as it can position itself as a worthy supplement to the digital side. Often, this means showing advertisers how broadcast spend can help drive traffic to their website or Facebook page. “When they begin to put the two together — that broadcast advertising drives digital traffic better than anything else, and it does — than you’re going to see more radio and television advertising,” Borrell said.
For local broadcasters, getting that message to advertisers depends on having an adaptive and diagnostic sales team. Borrell emphasized that sales reps sit on the frontlines of the business, and will only grow more important as advertisers begin narrowing their spend into about two to three types of media. “One of those is digital,” Borrell noted, “and the rest depends on your sales reps.”
This often underappreciated element of the business is also one of the few things that sets traditional media apart from the impersonal world of Facebook targeting and SEO plays. “Digital gives them the technology and framework, but it doesn’t consult with them,” Borrell said. “Your sales reps need to be great storytellers, because digital doesn’t give them that.”
To listen to a recording of this panel session, click here.
Read all about the NewsTECHForum here.