London, 6 June 2016

Budgets are still largely allocated on the basis of historical performance rather than customer behaviour or external insights, with only 31% of executives surveyed saying they base their media spend on customer time spent in each channel. This is a key finding from the Media Budgets Index research, published by Econsultancy in partnership with Datalicious.

A third of marketers have a good idea of where consumers are spending their time, and a further half (49%) can measure this to at least some extent. Asian executives have the most confidence in their ability to monitor consumer time, with the UK being least confident in this area.

The report, based on a global survey, desk research and in-depth interviews with executives across the UK, EMEA, US and Asia Pacific, questions the extent to which marketers are looking at the relationship between media spend and where consumers are spending their time, and compares this across regions.

The research offers valuable insight into an area which so far has not been explored to such an extent: are advertisers wasting their budgets, putting money into channels their consumers ignore? The report is designed to provide recommendations on approaches to and opportunities within online and traditional media spend.

That marketers are failing to match their media spend to where customers actually spend their time is clear. However, this trend is by no means uniform across territories or even within seemingly aligned regions. Key regional findings include:

-) Singapore overspends on offline media while underinvesting in online.

-) Conversely, the US seems to strike almost the right balance (although there are disparities when it comes down to a per channel basis), with only a 3% margin either way which, interestingly, sees the nation spend less than optimal amounts offline.

-) Australia and New Zealand are similarly under-indexing offline and overspending on online but by a slightly larger margin, around 7%.

-) The UK exhibits a more than 10% disparity in spend versus consumer time spent and favours offline media more than it should.

Christian Bartens, CEO of Datalicious, commented: “There is a wealth of information in this report highlighting how, around the world, there is a strong disconnect between how people consume media and how advertisers allocate their budgets. It points to a clear need for planners to study attribution more closely, and understand how each channel contributes to their advertising objectives.”

Jim Clark, Research Director at Econsultancy, said: “The research underlines the fact that despite the rising number of digital signals available, organisations are still struggling to evaluate and understand how to get the most ROI from their marketing investments. Through in-depth desk research, surveys of marketers and interviews with senior decision-makers, readers are well-positioned to use this report to benchmark their own marketing plans to better connect and engage with audiences going forward.”

An examination of total spend across online and offline channels shows that TV advertising continues to dominate budget allocation. In fact, 50-60% of executives plan to keep their TV commitments the same for the coming year. However, EMEA and Singapore are displaying more caution in this area.

Several traditional media channels are continuing to experience declining investment even though some, including radio and print media, show a reasonable degree of ongoing consumer interest.

Digital, however, is where the most consistent growth and investment is being seen, with the UK and EMEA putting in the most effort and in some cases digital taking up to 100% of their budgets. While most executives expect to increase their exposure on mobile platforms, the sector is slightly more volatile and 6% voiced an intention to decrease their investment.

Email is continuing to enjoy a resurgence, with over 90% of executives stating a commitment to either maintaining the status quo or increasing their investment. Paid social, however, has a tendency to polarise, with executives in all regions divided as to whether to increase or decrease spend in this area. Paid social has the least support in APAC, with 15% of marketers in ANZ and 13% in India planning to reduce their spend.

Get this report

The full report is available on the Econsultancy website here:

The report is available to Econsultancy subscribers. For more information about this report, contact:

Jim Clark, Research Director, Econsultancy
jim.clark AT
+44 (0) 207 269 1450

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About Datalicious

Datalicious is a full-service analytics agency and technology firm, providing the tools and insights to help companies achieve more effective marketing outcomes. From its origins as a specialist consultancy based in Sydney, Australia, the company attracted investment from the Veda Group, an Equifax company and has grown to become an innovative software development company that now help many blue-chip clients across Europe and South East Asia to think outside the box and achieve data driven marketing best practice. Datalicious products include the SuperTag tag manager, DataExchange user ID management tool and OptimaHub cross-channel marketing analytics platform. Datalicious is also one of the biggest Google Analytics Premium resellers in Southeast Asia.

Published on: 9:00PM on 6th June 2016