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New Survey Confirms Media Planners are Taking Digital Placed-based Media Seriously

Digital placed-based media, long in its ascendency as a legitimate advertising medium, appear poised to enter an entirely new realm of acceptance among professional media planners, according to a survey released in early July from the Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA).

According to the survey, 86.3 percent of media planning respondents said they intend to use digital place-based media as part of their media plans in 2012, a jump from 75.5 percent who said their 2011 media plans include digital place-based media and 65.3 percent from 2010.

To be sure, the percentages revealed by the survey show digital placed-based media has come into its own as a legitimate advertising vehicle. But what is even more stunning is that the survey found 44 percent of media planners plan to shift dollars once allocated to the granddaddy of electronic media, namely television, to fund their digital place-based media buys.

TV ranked second among existing media that media planners intended to tap for funding their digital place-based media plans. Topping the list was outdoor advertising from which 54 percent said they would shift funds. Digital/online ranked third with nearly 23 percent identifying it as the source of funds. Fewer than 20 percent said they would not shift dollars to fund their plans for digital place-based media.

According to a press release announcing the results of the survey, DPAA president Susan Danaher sees that 20 percent figure as particularly significant because it indicates media planners view digital place-based media as being included from the outset as part of their of media plans, not an afterthought to be funded by simply reallocating dollars.

I see these survey findings as the latest in a line of data points indicating that digital-out-of-home advertising is coming into its own as an advertising medium. Others include progress in audience measurement technologies and techniques and the collection of audience metrics by The Nielsen Company.

These DPAA findings confirm that digital-out-of-home advertising has long ago transitioned from a quirky concept that a handful of avant-garde media planners would experiment with to the mainstream of media alternatives.

The findings also raise in my mind a question about the 14 percent of media buyers who don’t plan to use digital place-based media. It would be easy to assume that they simply will be latecomers to the party when they ultimately recognize the value digital place-based media bring their clients.

But I suspect at least a portion of the holdouts may work on accounts for whom digital place-based media just doesn’t make sense, i.e. an online insurance company with no field agents, a credit monitoring service company or some other business with no physical presence in the proximity of its customers.

The survey was taken online May 6-June 6 by the association among about 1000 strategic media planners nationwide. One can only wonder if media buyers with clients who have no face-to-face customer interaction were removed from the sample what tiny percentage of would have no plans for digital place-based media next year.

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