Build or Buy: Keeping Pace with Interactive Advertising Growth
- Internet ad revenue in the U.S. totaled $5.9 billion in the first quarter, up 7.5% over the same period a year earlier and the highest reported quarterly revenue figure for the industry.
- eMarketer revised its forecast to predict a steeper increase of nearly 11% for U.S. online ad spending in 2010, after a drop of 3.4% last year. They believe U.S. spending on online advertisements will reach $25.1 billion, up from $22.7 billion.
- U.S. online display advertising impressions totaled 1.1 trillion in the first quarter of 2010, with an increase of 15% over the same timeframe in 2009. Facebook.com had 176 billion display ad impressions in the first quarter. Yahoo’s sites had 132 billion impressions. Microsoft’s sites had 60 billion impressions .
- According to comScore figures released by the Newspaper National Network, the number of unique visitors to newspaper websites is up 15% from January of this year. In April, online newspaper sites reached 83.7 unique visits, generating more than two million pages views. This is up from 1.6 billion page views in January.
The bad news is that these sources don’t address the challenge facing advertisers and their agencies in finding qualified talent to create the increasing volume of ads. I hear every day at Affinity Express that companies in all industries and ad agencies have a severe gap in mid-level personnel who can handle the day-to-day work producing content and executing campaigns.
Here are a few more opinions I found.
- Starcom CEO Lisa Donohue, in an article by Shane Steele for MediaBizBloggers, cautioned that we are suffering from a “talent crisis” in marketing, particularly for the skills and experience needed to keep up with the radical pace of change in the digital age.
- Lynne Seid, partner in the Global Consumer Marketing Practice for recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles said, "There is a digital talent emergency in publishing companies as they transform into full-blown, digitally-oriented media companies."
- Kat Egan (founder of the digital ad agency Exopolis) commented in a New York Times article published on May 12, 2010, “It’s shocking: even now, in 2010, it’s very challenging to find great talent . . . You can find people, but you know that they’re going to need a lot of mentoring and a lot of hand-holding, and it’s an enormous investment.”
- Agencies such as Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Goodby and Silverstein & Partners were asked what they needed in new hires and they had a near-unanimous response: they aren’t getting what they need to grow and develop.
Plus, there continues to be pressure from clients on costs. CEOs and marketing directors are tasking procurement execs to negotiate contracts and they are often given no other option than to squeeze for more reductions, year after year. In doing so, they have made it difficult for agencies to attract and compensate the talents needed to deliver the value-creating ideas the same clients demand.