More and more of consumer attention and “time with media” are focused on digital. Yet most co-op advertising programs are still focused on traditional advertising and in-store merchandising. A recent report from the Local Search Association said the following about digital and the state of co-op advertising:
Estimates for annual [co-op advertising] spend in the United States range from $50 billion to a staggering $520 billion worldwide per year . . .
Yet only a negligible portion of that spend flows into digital media channels—by one estimation, “significantly less than one percent,” a discrepancy that must be addressed not only online by the digital advertising ecosystem, but also by the manufacturers behind co-op advertising programs and the retailers and e-tailers who stand to benefit from these programs.
UBL’s Chris Travers was slightly more generous in his estimate of the percentage going into digital in an email to me this morning. “We see it is a large growth area, with hundreds of millions of dollars in unspent marketing money, and a disproportionately low percentage of what does get spent being allocated to digital – perhaps around 7% versus over 60% to print newspapers and YP print,” he explained.
Accordingly UBL is going after this huge pot of money with a new offering: “UBL’s Co-Op Local Search Marketing Service.” The program is directed toward “manufacturers, brand managers and co-operative marketers [to] ensure their brands are mentioned accurately and uniformly in local retailer listings online.”
The new service leverages UBL’s distribution network: “to dozens of major search sites, as well as the claiming of verified profiles on Google Places, Google Plus, Bing, and Yahoo and the building of dedicated profile pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.”
Are you aware of any comparable digital programs that target co-op dollars like this? I’m not; perhaps there is some of this going on through CMRs.