You may have read Chip Bayers' recent article in AdWeek, "Why Silicon Valley Can't Sell." It's a great read, and echoes many of the sentiments near and dear to my ongoing interest in the gap between the agency and startup worlds. There's a disparity between the time people are spending with digital media and the amount being invested in advertising... according to the article, this is a $60 billion gap.
I think the gap is widening... here's why.
Some brands are actually decreasing their online advertising spend because they don't believe in banners, or more "traditional" forms of digital marketing. This isn't particularly dramatic when you consider that most online ad dollars are actually going into search.
Yet if the dollars are really going where users are spending their time, they should be going into social media, and into mobile... not into search. The problem is that we have yet to create robust ad options in social. Instead, while Silicon Valley lags behind in creating new social ad format, the dollars that would be spend with them will increasingly going to shift away from advertising into the following:
Ad dollars will increasingly go into prodcution
Many brands have limited budgets and increasing technology needs. Why spend so much money on advertising you don't believe in when you can be building apps, and spend that money on maintaining them?
Ad dollars will increasingly go into staff
Somtimes the right investment in social media for a brand isn't in social advertising, but an investment in resources to activate their social community. I think we'll see brands trade dollars on the media plan for people in the social org chart.
Ad dollars will increasingly go into content
It costs money to create an engaging social presence. As brands have grown Facebook fan pages, they're realizing that the content demands are great. More money will flow from media budgets into the costs required to create video and editorial content.
Perhaps what this means in the long run is that advertising spending will incresingly become more digital, but that overall ad spending will shrink as dollars flow into these new priorities...