According to a recent survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, nearly a quarter of media buyers, planners and brands will not begin reinvesting in media until the end of the second quarter, and even then the levels of investment, especially when it comes to traditional media budgets, are still in question.

Let's take a nostalgic trip back in time - well, a few months ago anyway;

You're with the media buying agency for that 'monthly' in arrears review meeting.

The stage is set for them to take you through how they (invested) spent what you believe to be a tight ad budget, they even provided a big plate of chocolate cookies, muffins and fruit to help get you through to the lunchtime hurdle where a platter of sandwiches and other goodies will help to continue to distract.

The slide deck turns up and away you go;

  • Here's what went well - (fancy chart/graph)
  • Here's what we learned - (fancy chart/graph)
  • Here's what we think we 'could' do better for next time - (fancy chart/graph)

Then the people who've actually done most of the placement, legwork, and were still working on those charts/graphs until 10 minutes before you arrived turn up to take you through 'the detail'.

"Marvellous, these guys are really on top of things, they have some very clever people who can produce charts/graphs that we can also use in the board pack to show why our budget is still required" - box ticked for this month!!!

Around the globe, ad spend is falling in crucial markets, including the United States, which is down an anticipated 10 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2020, and in China, down an expected 8 percent YoY, according to projections by eMarketer and Accenture.

The upside assuming you still have an advertising budget is it's even cheaper today than it was before, but are consumers able to spend?

Transparency is a good look for Google right now.

Google anticipates an antitrust case this summer, where many parts of its business will be put under a microscope. Google’s ad tech fees could be part of the case.

One antitrust paper released last year faulted Google for not sharing its end-to-end fees. “No one (other than Google) has visibility into what happens between AdWords and AdX,” the paper said.

With budgets and resource decimated by this crisis maybe it's time to reset the thinking, every bit of evidence is showing us that the consumer is pissed off with your intrusive adverts, the scale of waste and fraud is utter madness, and it's highly likely that your company can no longer afford to support that agency relationship.

Agency land whilst plumbed into 'programmatic' are still locked into the mindset of weekly/monthly planning sessions, whilst your customers thinks 'NOW'.

If this was your own cash I'm pretty sure you would be taking a closer look at why circa 50% - 75% is being wasted and should be totally disheartening, but you still believe your agency has got your back.

2 things to consider;

  1. Try turning off Ad tech - see what happens, even if it's just for one day, or one week, or as several global brands are doing try it for a month.
  2. Take a very serious look at how you're using social media, you might just be surprised that the 'advertise and promote' mentality you think is the right one is actually adding to that waste and fraud.

If you would like to explore how to utilise social media as a huge strategic value please contact the author of this blog.