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Holiday Flash Survey (Q/A)

By John Shelton November 22, 2011 | 2:07pm

(STRATA recently conducted a Holiday Flash Survey of STRATA agencies of varying sizes across the country. The following is a Q/A with CEO/President John Shelton on the survey results.)

What did you find most interesting or surprising about the results of the survey?

Spot TV/Cable advertising still dominates (which isn’t surprising), but Digital advertising is increasingly becoming a strong avenue of choice this holiday season.  We are seeing more campaigns utilize cross platform promotions and reaching clients in more ways than ever before. Instead of relying on one or two mediums, a strong media mix has become increasingly important for advertisers to push their products/services this shopping season.

When you take a close look at the industries that are advertising for the holidays, I was a bit surprised. Sure, you are going to have categories that are often synonymous with the holiday season (clothing/apparel, music/movies and hospitality) getting a share of advertising - but they weren’t the leaders. Interestingly, healthcare and financial services (along with holiday favorite, electronics) are the top industry areas that agencies are focusing on this holiday season. These were well ahead of traditional holiday categories.
And does this compare to past holiday seasons?

Even though this was a flash survey, we did notice a positive economic trend with budgets.  The economy is continuing to present challenges as the STRATA agencies polled noted. 88% said that their clients’ campaign costs have either stayed the same or increased this quarter. With that in mind, a majority of advertising budgets have increased since last year, a few by as much as 20%. So brands are still looking to get the most out of this holiday season.

What is great about this flash survey is that it does get a pulse of what is happening on main street. We poll agencies of varying sizes across the country and get a strong feeling of where the dollars are going from LA to Des Moines to New York and all points in between. It will be interesting to see the results of our next quarterly STRATA Forecast Survey and see how these agencies/advertisers faired through the holiday season and are bracing for what is sure to be an intriguing 2012.

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