According to a fourth-quarter survey of advertising agencies, STRATA reports that confidence among agencies heading into 2017 is high. Forty-three percent of agencies report their business will increase in the first quarter, while only 11% expect a decrease. Forty-two percent of respondents anticipate the need for additional staff next year, and not a single agency reports plans to make staff cuts. In Q2, STRATA reported that the rate of agency hires was decreasing, and concerns over needing to reduce staff sizes were increasing rapidly.
The survey found video advertising remains the dominant focus, with 34% of agencies noting their clients’ primary focus was local TV and cable. For the first time in the survey’s history, digital video claimed the second spot, with 27% of agencies responding that it was their primary focus, a 79% increase over the previous year. Display advertising, previously in the second spot, fell to third with 15% reporting it as their clients’ main focus.
Though only 6% of agencies report plans to allocate between 26-50% of their budgets to paid social, that’s an increase of 321% compared to the first quarter this year. A majority of agencies report that paid social media accounts for the smallest portion of their budget (0-5%), and 18% percent of agencies noted that it accounted for 11-25% of their budget, an 80% increase over last year.