Shauna Lewis
May 9, 2024

Agencies caution advertisers against knee-jerk response to rise of social media

Warc’s Social Media Reaches New Peaks report revealed that social media is now the largest channel in the world in terms of adspend.

Agencies caution advertisers against knee-jerk response to rise of social media

Agencies have warned advertisers against jumping ship to social media in the wake of Warc’s Social Media Reaches New Peaks report.

Warc’s research revealed that social media is now the largest channel in the world in terms of adspend, overtaking paid search.

Daniel Wood, chief executive at Creative Futures, part of EssenceMediacom, said: “The danger for advertisers is that they see this as a simple buy signal to move investment without properly interrogating the risks as well as the rewards.”

He added that time isn’t the “only metric” and the “relative profit” generated by each channel, along with impact on short and long brand metrics, should also be interrogated.

Elliott Millard, chief strategy and planning officer at Wavemaker, said: “When nearly 80% of budgets are going into digital channels there is also cause for concern.”

He added that recent “Profitability” research from Thinkbox, Ebiquity, Gain Theory and Group M, showed that while marketing budgets are flowing towards digital channels, “‘traditional’ and ‘legacy’ behaviours are still driving the bulk of ad-generated profit”.

Paul Bland, chief data officer at Havas Media Network, also made the case for legacy mediums. “TV is also changing. While linear consumption is reducing, digital consumption is soaring across apps, platforms and devices. More than ever, advertisers need to plan and balance audience reach, frequency and attention across diverse platforms and formats,” he said.

Alex Brownsell, head of content at Warc Media, said that the success of social media had been driven by Meta’s “remarkable renaissance”, but that the channel’s “stronghold on budgets” can also be seen on TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Adam Chugg, head of data and tech at the7stars, gave three reasons for the increase in social media investment: “Social ads offering maturity, evolving search behaviour and search ad saturation.”

He explained that platforms such as Meta and TikTok had “[developed] their advertising ecosystem” and also noted that Gen Z “is now turning to social media for search, as the platforms mature, become more shoppable and influencers revive their roles”.

Sourcing data from GW1, Warc found that time spent on social media had increased by 50% over the last decade.

As well as cautioning advertisers against jumping ship to social, Wood said it was important to “think harder” about the creative formats delivered on social, a “people-first” platform which can’t be won by using “interruption and traditional ad placement”.

He added: “To win, you need to think creator and collaboration first, working with the influencers, talent and publishers that have the power to shape social culture and produce brand campaigns that are truly relevant to a social audience.”

Caroline Parkes, chief strategy officer at Rapp UK, reiterated Wood’s point and added that “social allows precision like no other channel” with its ability to “connect the algorithm to the individual”.

Source:
Campaign UK

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