Budgetary Considerations

Steve Rubel brings up an excellent question for marketers. Do they presently have a budget allocated for blogs, podcasts and other micro media applications?

Yesterday I moderated a panel at MediaPost’s Forecast 2006 conference. The challenge before the panel was to resolve this question: how can advertisers, agencies and the media restructure to deal with a micro media universe? The consensus we reached was that TV creates awareness, but the Web influences behavior.
While the panel agreed that micro media is going to become increasingly important to marketers, during the session the question arose – who pays for this stuff? What bucket of the money is allocated to pay for blogs, podcasts and other micro-media advertising campaigns? It’s not like companies have this money allocated right now in their media spend.
My gut is that the money will come from either budgets set aside for television advertising or search marketing. However, Bob Liodice, President/CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, raised an interesting point. He believes that marketers will create a new budget line in their marketing spend just for advertising in micro media.
As more marketers dabble in this new world the question of who pays is crucial. The precedents set will determine which agencies will be able to win additional business. Right now, the PR agencies seem to be ahead of the media buying and ad agencies, but I certainly wouldn’t count them out. They’re very good at selling ancillary services.

I’ve said before, and will surely say again, one to five percent of a marketer’s budget needs to be put against citizen’s media, conversational media or micro media as it’s called in this instance. Brands and their agency partners will also need to start investing in the people who truly understand this new game.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.