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Thu 29 Jan 2009 01:43 PM

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Online ad spend set to grow by up to 35% in 2009

New Mideast study shows predicted shift to web advertising amid tightening of budgets.

Regional spending on online advertising is expected to grow by 25-35 percent as a result of the downturn, according to a study released on Thursday.

The region will witness a greater shift from print to online advertising as budgets are slashed, according to “Game Not Over”, a report by global management consultant firm, Booz & Company.

“Online advertising is cheaper compared to other mediums such as television and print and is far more targeted. It offers better investment and a better return,” Gabriel Chahine, a partner at Booz & Company told Arabian Business.

Online advertising spending in the GCC-Levant countries remains below 1 percent of the total globally, according to Madar Research.

According to the report, around 90 percent of marketers are focused on campaigns that are cross-platform and inclusive of digital media while 80 percent believe insights into consumer’s digital behaviour will become more important to their brands.

Growth of online advertising, however, is hampered in the Middle East, by a lack of supply of regional products, said Chahine.

“Popular online offerings [in the Middle East] are Google, Yahoo and Facebook which are still taking the top spots in terms of audience. We still do not have a compelling offering in the online space.

“We need the media players who are in traditional media to create new digital brands across key offerings such as sports, music and games,” he said.

Just 25 percent of marketers consider themselves savvy enough to capitalise on opportunities in online advertising, said the report.

Key concerns include the efficacy of digital metrics, the need for greater education and new models so they can build a more effective advertising presence online said the report.

Gaurav Aidasani 11 years ago

I think the above article makes sense, i would suggest users to review - for an indepth insight into how online marketing works and what are the various tools. there are several factors which weren't covered in this article about good online marketing vs. bad online marketing. also, alot of companies online marketing is like IT, which can be sourced in-house which is the biggest mistake they make. Finally, in a time like today, where every penny counts, i have reaped the benefits of online marketing and would congratulate the author to further this discovery.

Ibrahim El Sabbagh 11 years ago

I do agree, online marketing is measurable, responsive, effectively deliver the message, gives immediate results and cost effective "only pay for what is delivered'.

Saad Bhatti 11 years ago

i do agree that on-line marketing is the most cost effective and measurable marketing tool for companies, even if the on-line ad spend is growing rapidly still traditional marketers and decision makers require trainings to understand the effectiveness and operational knowledge in which case an on-line campaign should be executed by a marketer not from an IT professional. There are number of certifications on-line which might help marketers to understand this medium and so they can implement the on-line campaigns and use search marketing tools on their own.

Nigel Hunter 11 years ago

In the UK we have gone a long way past this, and I cant see why intelligent business in the UAE wouldn't take advantage of what we have learnt and start from where we are now? In my experience it is possible to rise to the top of the search engine rankings and appear first or second in the organic listings without having to use pay per click, banner ads or other paid listings. Its a skill to do this, there is no doubt, but from what i can see (, it costs a fraction of what paid for listings cost, and is easily more credible to be seen first in the Google search list than to advertise to be seen.