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Digital Marketing to Rise in the Troubled Eurozone


Under normal circumstances, a change in business practices typically flounders in the realm of the legacy marketer. Standing on the sidelines -- with no intent to act -- is the norm for too many executives. Any excuse that could be used to rationalize further inaction merely fuels the status quo. Undaunted, the progressives among them will still advance the much needed transformation.

According to the latest market study by eMarketer, regardless of the growth of digital marketing practices in leading markets, advertising across all media in Western Europe will grow more slowly than expected -- as a result of the region's economic troubles.

eMarketer estimates total media advertising spending in Western Europe will have grown 1.8 percent -- to $114.4 billion by the end of 2011. They previously forecast, in June 2011, that ad spending in the region would grow 3 percent to $115.8 billion in 2011 -- before reaching $120.8 billion in 2012.

Online advertising is growing slightly faster than expected, at 12.8 percent, to reach $24.5 billion in 2011. It will climb 13.9 percent in 2012, to $27.9 billion. Their previous forecast estimated online ad spending in Western Europe would grow 12.5 percent to $23.1 billion in 2011 -- before reaching $26.3 billion in 2012.

"As economic concerns deepen in the eurozone, the shift of advertising from offline to online platforms is accelerating in all major regional markets," said eMarketer senior analyst Karin von Abrams. "Advertisers value the cost-effectiveness, flexibility and accountability of digital ads more highly than ever."

Britain remains the largest ad market in the region, but Germany is emerging, with 2012 online ad spending estimated at $6.5 billion. In France, digital spending will be less than half that, at $3.1 billion. Italy and Spain are much less advanced in online ad spending.

Display advertising, which includes video, banners, rich media and sponsorship ads, is growing by double digits in Western Europe, though not nearly as quickly as in the U.S. market.

eMarketer estimates display advertising in the region will have grown 17.3 percent in 2011, to $8 billion, while search ad spend will rise 14.9 percent, to $11.2 billion, during the same period.

Mobile ad spending, like video, is growing as Western European advertisers take advantage of rapid consumer adoption of smartphones and media tablets. eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending in the region will pass the $1 billion mark in 2012 and post a CAGR of 52 percent through 2015.

That being said, with the continued poor performance of most advertising efforts, I'm hopeful that more CEOs will demand that the bar of expectations is raised, and 2012 is the year where forward-thinking curated content marketing practices move further into the mainstream.

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