I have to admit, this is the first marketing job I have ever had where – surprisingly – I don’t have any advertising budget. Shocking to some (especially to those who try to sell us some air space) but no AVAST does not pay for any advertising. Sadly for me that means there are no creative briefs, no castings, no posh creative agencies and their production meetings, no trips abroad for location selections. On the upside for me, I will not lose my hair or its color trying to plan marketing campaigns in the 200 or so countries and territories where we have our users.
On the upside for AVAST, not paying for advertising saves rather substantial amount of money that could be invested into the product and technologies. Let me put this into perspective. According to media monitoring, Symantec, McAfee, AVG, Kaspersky and others have invested $50.3 million (!) into advertising in USA alone in 2009. (Note: data for complete 2010 are not yet available).
Our advertising is our product: avast! Free Antivirus. We believe people will use it, like it and tell their friends about it. It‘s great because it works indeed. Ongoing, 67% of all avast! users claim they use the product because it was recommended to them by their friends. With the recommendation, they go directly to our website or – in about half of the cases – they search on Google and go to avast.com from there.
We have a company board meeting next week and I was preparing several charts for the presentation. There is no harm if you see one of charts first ;)
It shows weekly evolution of Google search for the main antivirus brand names from 2004 to end of 2010. The orange bar is avast! and it reached 26% of all searches. That means, 1 out of 4 users looking for new antivirus is searching for avast! instead of the other brands. Not bad without paid advert...