Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The battle for budget in the digital space

By Scott Gray

2010, another year, another marketing budget, another significant year-on-year increase in the amount corporates intend on investing in digital.

As an eMarketer, this is great news for me and the agency I work for as each and every year the “battle for budget” between digital and the more traditional above-the-line mediums (predictably) sees the lion share being portioned to the ad agencies, while the virtual scraps are thrown to the budget line item that is digital/interactive/eMarketing.

The purpose of this post though is not to rant, neither is it to dwell on budgets and where they should or shouldn’t be going (I’ll save that one for another post).

In South Africa, digital as a marketing channel has a problem and I can’t help feeling a somewhat shallow sense of satisfaction about the increase in the channel’s allocated year-on-year budget.

Corporates are approaching the web with an “everyone-else-is-doing-it-so-we-better-do-something-too” attitude. Now I understand that this is somewhat of a generalisation, but when I hear companies talk about investing in digital I wonder what they really mean. Are they using the platform as an opportunity to propel their business forward, or are they using digital as nothing more than something to support their TV/print/radio campaigns. Or worse, are their digital initiatives standing alone on a brand communication island with just the 1 palm tree?

From experience on both sides of the client/agency fence, I can say with confidence that digital as a support mechanism for traditional marketing efforts, as well as digital for digital sake, is where web spend is going.

As I mentioned earlier, this post is not about ranting, it’s rather an attempt at identifying what I feel are issues holding the South African eMarketing space back from taking it up a level.

The challenges, I believe, can be broken down into 2 basic categories: Client-side skill sets, and The client/agency partnership. [...]  Read the full article by clicking on the title link.


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