The IAB released its numbers yesterday and here are some highlights:

Q1 total spend was up 12.31 per cent over Q1 2009 (excellent!) but also " advertising is now over 10 per cent of all domestic media spend, with all other media reporting declines in 2009?

You can read the full article here (and download the report).

Kiwi companies are playing catch up, extending themselves from no digital footprint, to jumping in and having a splash. You can see this as the more mature US Online Spend grew 7.5 per cent over the same period.

We have definitely seen a surge of interest this year, companies are adding online to their media mix, extending existing campaigns and increasingly running digitally focused campaigns.

What we at Young & Shand would like to see is a shift from one off, hit or miss campaigns to building digital assets which can grow and evolve over time.

Consumers are quickly fatiguing from the 'latest viral' being forwarded, tweeted or shared on Facebook by the same people. Deeper engagements are going to drastically increase results (as evidenced by our recent Facebook campaigns).

Digital is an extension of existing marketing activities, it can be used above, below or through the line, it all depends on your business objectives.

Taking that step back to understand how it fits into the bigger picture significantly helps in achieving success.

This one simple step, which sounds super basic but people get caught up in the hype of online and they forget, has helped many business increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.

We've seen small businesses increase sales over 50 per cent within a matter of months, increased FMCG sales through Facebook to high value business development. It all starts with, what do we want to achieve? Now how can online accelerate that process.

Overall after a decade of being involved online it's great to see digital taking off, it's about time.

Ben Young from bwagy is the author of The Best Ideas are Free and Marketing Director at Young & Shand.