Does current advertiser channel spend reflect audience channel usage?

A recently published report in advertising trade media showed that investment has declined in most major media channels compared to the same quarter last year – with the exception of outdoor and cinema:

(Source: Stoppress)

Whilst there are any number of reasons why overall ad spend has declined by 5% (including business confidence levels, and three major sectors with much higher annual quarter-on-quarter declines (incl. Finance; FMCG & Government)) what’s more interesting is the channel investment trends.

Much noise has been made in the media about the decline in television viewing and print readership. Those declines have been highly over-reported – perception is not always reality! When we review audience channel usage, we find that whilst there are declines in some channel usage, they’re not nearly as drastic as either news media or advertiser spend data would have you believe:

(Source: Nielsen Consumer & Media Insights Q1 2017-Q4 2017 compared to Q1 2018-Q4 2018)

Of course every advertiser category, campaign and target audience is different, but any good media team should apply an evidence-based approach and review all available audience and client data to ensure campaigns are utilising the most effective channels to deliver the campaign’s goals – and not rely on a ‘sample of one’ methodology, or what’s been reported in the news, to inform channel selections.