|Australia's leading advertisers are predicting main media ad spend to increase by 3.8 per cent in 2012, but media agency executives are far less optimistic with growth predictions of just 1.7 per cent, according to the latest Starcom MediaVest Group Media Futures survey.
Consumers, on the other hand, are slightly more upbeat about their expectations for 2012, with two thirds saying they feel their financial situation is the same or better than the previous year. And 41 per cent anticipate their situation will have improved in one year's time.
Media Futures is the only survey of its kind which combines the intentions of advertisers, media executives and consumers to develop a holistic outlook for the media and marketing landscape for the coming 12 months.
The migration of ad dollars to digital channels is expected to continue, according to Media Futures, which found that advertisers expect spend in online search, online display and online mobile will all increase substantially in 2012. Mobile advertising in particular is expected to grow from a low base with just over six in 10 advertisers expecting to use mobile in their marketing mix this year.
Media executives also believe mobile will perform better than expected in 2012, as well as internet display advertising. However, the extraordinary growth of search is likely to moderate this year.
"Advertisers are following eyeballs as consumers are spending more time using the internet on their mobiles, tablets and desktops," Starcom MediaVest CEO John Sintras said.
Integration is still a buzzword for the advertising industry. Clients that invest as part of integrated campaigns are valued by media executives even more highly than those with stable bookings.
The largest anticipated revenue spike for TV executives is being driven by sports and special events with the London Olympic Games most likely driving this expected growth.
FTA TV and magazine executives are least sanguine about the year ahead, but their pessimism isn't reflected in the sentiment of advertisers who still nominate primary FTA TV as their second most-used medium. But according to advertisers' intentions, the real growth in television will be in the secondary FTA channels, while subscription TV is expected to be flat.
Starcom MediVest revisits the survey later in the year to recalibrate the expectations for the final six months of the year.
Forecasts of a spend growth of six per cent in 2011 were drastically revised down in the middle of the year to 2.2 per cent.
"Confidence is so variable and depends on so many factors, which is why we have started taking a mid-year dip because the landscape can change very rapidly," Starcom MediaVest Group CEO John Sintras said.