Online ad revenue gained ground during 2008, according to an industry survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). As expected, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) was the top gainer. Search marketing offers the unique opportunity to offer a product at the exact moment that a search query is performed.
In addition, enhancements in Google’s AdWords program expanded marketers’ ability to measure results and target users, such as those of the Apple iPhone. Search marketing also creates an ideal testing platform, which allows for comparisons of a virtually unlimited combination of advertisements, platforms, networks, keyword and ad combinations, until a winning formula is found. Multi-variant testing, ad targeting and the ability to measure results through sophisticated analytics are key evidence-based marketing requirements.
Sponsorship continued a precipitous decline as a portion of total online ad revenue, while Lead Generation held more or less steady at 7%.
Email marketing maintained a toehold at just 2%, the same as overall 2007 figures, despite the well-documented shift from email to IM, text and messaging within social networks such as linkedIn and Facebook.
One item on our report wish list is a break down of social media marketingspending, as there is still very little known about how much is being spent, and where it is being applied in this sector.