The 2009 Media Planning season has begun and for many food, wine, and beer companies, 2009 will see many investing in online advertising for the first time in an effort to use their budget dollars more frugally due to tough economic times. This is a positive move to be making and the right time to be making it, but many companies are still unsure exactly how much of their advertising budget should be allocated to online advertising and where it should this money be spent?
The greatest challenge for any company’s advertising budget is to spend as little money as possible while developing brand awareness and driving sales either online or offline. Advertising agency’s who predominantly buy TV and radio will show them all the numbers regarding demographics. These are the percentages of people from each age category and gender that will be watching and/or listening to their advertisement. But, in the real world we know that people often change the channel when the commercial is on, so you never know how many people in your target audience see your ad. This is precisely why it makes sense for food, wine and beer companies to start allocating a larger portion of their advertising budget to online advertising.
Online advertising is far more targeted than TV or radio and people can’t change the channel because the online advertising is integrated into a page they are viewing. A consumer may be reading a recipe that they will be making for a dinner party that evening and the ad right next to it may be for an ingredient they will need for that recipe or the perfect wine to pair with their meal.
A benefit about spending more of your advertising budget for online advertising is that the ads get noticed, but don’t offend. Consumers feel better about seeing an ad that blends in with a page they are reading and isn’t interrupting their experience. They are aware of the online advertising while they are reading the article or watching a video that demonstrates a cooking technique, but they can choose when to read it more fully. Companies who sponsor interesting content can be seen as innovative.
The really bright side for these food, wine and beer companies is the cost of online advertising is much more affordable and when you consider the cost per viewer that may actually purchase the product as opposed to radio or TV advertising, the difference is astronomical. Strictly from a financial expenditure to net gain perspective, the more of a company’s advertising budget gets allocated to online advertising, the better.
Realistically, online businesses should be spending the majority of their advertising budget for online advertising. On the other hand, FMCG and retailers may want to consider putting at least 20-30% of their advertising budget into online advertising as a first step in 2009, then more in 2010.