Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Jun 3, 2014

Unsustainable Trends Part IV: Ad Spend Not in Equilibrium

Check out this graph from Atlantic Monthly. I’ts comparing attention paid to different media (in terms of percentage of our time using that medium) to ad dollar spend in 2013.

Houston, we have an unsustainable trend.  Notice that the ad spend is out of balance in two places.

First, a lot more money is being spent in Print compared to the amount of attention being given to that medium. Overall, the graph shows that there is a 400% overspend in Print advertising.

Conversely, Mobile is just the opposite. Hardly any ad money is being spent in Mobile advertising (only 4% of total ad buys in 2013), yet Mobile earned a 20% time spend.

This isn’t going to last. The ad dollars will find equilibrium (like all the other media). What you will see in short order is that print ad spend is going to migrate over to Mobile ad spend.

Now for fundraisers, there is always the caveat that donors are older, and this graph doesn’t apply to them.

Well, the Atlantic Monthly study says yes and no to this way of thinking.

We as fundraisers do have a little more time. Emphasis on little. The study shows the big age divide in media usage is 59. Those older don’t follow these patterns as much. Those younger do follow these patterns.

I know, not many nonprofits have the Internet optimized for fundraising yet, let alone Mobile.

The good news is you have a little time.

But best to get started now.

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