theEweekly Wrap: 16 Jan
Marketing growth spend falls during Q3 2014
The latest Bellwether Report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has revealed the net balance of marketing spend was down from 12.6 per cent in Q3 to 6.1 per cent in Q4 2014, its lowest since Q1 2013.
The net balance is determined by deducting the percentage of businesses reporting a downward revision in their budget from the percentage reporting an increase.
Despite the overall slowdown, Internet marketing budgets saw growth of 15.1 per cent, with a 6.7 per cent growth in main media advertising and a 6.6 per cent rise in PR budget growth.
Following early confidence during 2014 and nine consecutive quarters of growth, the market has cooled moving into the New Year. This is possibly in light of the upcoming general election, impending interest rate rises and uncertainty in the eurozone.
The final quarter slowdown aside, budgets are expected to continue rising and are predicted to be at their highest levels in eight years at 30.6 per cent during 2015.
Facebook sets its sights on office communications
Next up, it’s the news that Facebook is set to launch Facebook at Work, a network which offers a professional way for colleagues to communicate internally, and an alternative to existing email and intranet systems.
Facebook at Work is already being trialled by a limited number of businesses, and while over 1.4 billion people use the social network every month, it is still blocked by firewalls in many workplaces.
This move aims to change all that, with the official Facebook description saying the new network will let you “create a work account that is separate from your personal Facebook account” and that “things you share will only be visible to other people at your company.”
Facebook suggests the move, apart from increasing its number of users, will save companies money on training as a majority of their employees will already be familiar with the site.
The release will also be a direct competitor for LinkedIn, which last year surpassed 300 million registered users.
Ryanair to stream movies to passengers’ devices
To round off this week’s Eweekly Wrap, we have the news that budget airline Ryanair is to trial the possibility of streaming movies and television programmes to passengers’ handheld devices during flights.
Through the trial, Internet usage will continue be unavailable, instead, there will be a selection of movies and television programmes accessible through the aircraft’s internal WiFi.
In a departure from the airline’s charges on services such as their hand luggage dimension fee and in flight food and drink, the service is reported to be free and paid for by advertising.
Chief technology officer at Ryanair, John Hurley, said the initiative is “aimed at passengers on flights of more than two or three hours” and suggested it will be tested during popular holiday routes departing from or arriving at Dublin this summer.
If Ryanair’s streaming service is a success, it is set to be expanded across the airline’s 300 strong fleet during 2016.