We Thought You May Also Like – Online Advertising

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Let me just throw some facts at you straight away and promise you won’t be blown away by them and will hang around to read the rest of the article…ok? The following statistics were taken from a BBC news article regarding advertising spend in the UK

The internet now accounts for a quarter of all advertising spending in the UK, according to figures.

Wait for it that’s not all…

They show that the value of online advertising grew by 12.8% in 2010, breaking through the £4bn barrier.

Told you you’d be astounded £4 billion that’s like this much * gestures * a massive figure I’m sure you will agree and that is just in the UK. What’s that can you hear all the internet marketers rejoicing in the background, “see we told you that your online advertising budget wasn’t a waste of time.”

According to the survey which was carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau this figure was not far off from the total amount spent on television advertising in 2010, which came in at £4.28 billion. These figures really do substantiate the often speculated seismic shifts in the way advertising budgets are now allocated and spent.

More and more media is now consumed over the internet people are spending increasing amounts of time viewing and interacting with online media via social networking, smart phone technology and even now watching streaming live television through platforms such as BBC iplayer.

Online advertising is a broad definition of the multiple online advertising avenues available so where is all this money being spent? One of the areas that’s been attracting a huge amount of advertising spend and it’s often the subject of many a passionate debate between believers and non-believers and we’re not talking biblical or Beiber here no it’s; social media. Two little words that often have the capacity to polarise a room in seconds with the advocates proclaiming it’s virtues (well not vocally rather a blog post and an update on their Twitter) and the sceptics leering disapprovingly at the smart phone adorned evangelists.

The power and influence of social media and let’s get even bigger here the internet on the world of advertising and subsequently on the school of marketing is no longer purely based on personal opinion; it’s fact. A survey carried out by Experian Hitwise reported that social networking sites were the most visited pages in the UK in January 2011 generating a total of 2.4 billion unique hits. Online advertising as well as making lots of money for the advertisers, is also a key economic driver on the internet economy funding a wide variety of websites and services.

The biggest growth area has been through display advertising on social networks (the banners and ads you see on your Facebook page), this area grew by nearly 200% according to IAB’s survey. The world of online advertising itself throws up some areas of debate, for instance if you asked yourself what your immediate reaction to online advertising was, more often than not it would be one of disinterest or even annoyance. Yet the aforementioned figures prove that something must be working in order for advertisers to spend over £4 billion on it.

Research into the subject of online advertising and specifically display advertising has interestingly illustrated that the more visible and targeted an advert is the more of a negative reaction it evokes from the viewer. A display advert that is both highly visible and accurately targeted to the user has an increased incidence of not being recalled once viewed. Several reasons have been given for this consumer reaction being that the more targeted a viewer deems an ad to be the more they appear to have concerns regarding their privacy online. Additionally the more obtrusive or visible an ad is the more it appears to the viewer to have manipulative intentions. Even more interesting is that although these two methods, visibility and accurate targeting do not work together they do work when used separately. There is also an argument supporting the use of plain text online display advertising, demonstrated by Google’s successful Adsense sector. These ads have proven to be successful even in instances of decreased intrusiveness and relevance combined.

Whatever the execution of online advertising it is one of the most effective methods of matching advertising and consumers and it produces a lot of revenue. Whether through online display ads, online video ads or mobile advertising these sectors are earning millions and millions of pounds and companies have to devote a lot of time to the most efficient use of this relatively new advertising channel. There are some downsides like the amount of advertising noise that ads have to cut through in order to have the best possible opportunity of reaching their desired audience although strategic targeting is one solution.

To conclude lets just look at that first statistic again;

over £4 billion online advertising spend in the UK 2010

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1 Comment
    • Rob Priestley
    • 11th April 2011

    I would agree online adverts are vey annoying but and it's a BIG but in my personal experience they also work.
    In my (uneducated) opinion the key is getting the balance right between personalisation and patronising the recipient. Done well it can be fantastic, done badly it can be appalling.

    Social media has opened up the ability to communicate widely and easily however this has lead to a major proportion thinking they also have the skills to match the opportunity. Not a problem when we are discussing with your friends but a real challenge when you are selling your services or products.

    So I think many people need to accept when they have reached their natural level of ability and bring the experts in.