The Fournaise Marketing Group has recently revealed that the marketing and advertising campaigns it tracked in offline and online media around the world generated 21% less response from the target audience during the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Fournaise used its proprietary marketing effectiveness tracking solutions to measure the ability of its clients’ advertising campaigns to generate tangible and intangible, direct and indirect engagement with their target audience, and therefore their ability to boost the advertisers’ Profit & Loss (P&L) through:

  • Increase in leads/prospects captured;
  • Increase in positive target audience conditioning;
  • Increase in retail traffic; and/or
  • Increase in sales.

The company tracked that the overall 1Q2009-versus-1Q2008 fall in advertising response in mature markets (such as the US, Europe and Australia) was the highest at 28%, while developing markets like China and India experienced a relatively lower 14% decrease.

“This decrease in marketing and advertising response is very much in line with what’s going on in the world economy right now. Despite the stimulus packages released by the local governments, consumers and businesses in recession-hit countries in Europe, the US and Australia have been tightening their belts and controlling their expenditures, and this makes them much less receptive to the campaigns targeting them” says Jerome Fontaine, CEO & chief tracker of Fournaise.

“However for consumers and businesses in relatively less-affected (developing) economies such as China and India, there seems to be much less of a change in their response to the messages pushed by the brands,” he adds.

Fournaise revealed that overall, big-ticket item industries seem to be the most hit. The industries for which it tracked an above-21% decrease in target audience response to the advertising campaigns it measured were:

  1. Automobile
  2. Travel and airlines
  3. Financial institutions (including banks, investment and insurance companies)

On the other hand, the industries for which it tracked positive growth in response were retail and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), a sign that the current economic crisis may have a lesser impact on lower value products and services.

Unsurprisingly, Fournaise also measured that despite the budget cuts it noticed in the first quarter of 2009 and despite the better deals proposed by media organizations in both mature and developing markets, the average global Marketing Wastage Rate (MWR) it tracked in the first quarter of 2009 reached 61% − a 13% increase compared to the first quarter of 2008.