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Online advertising on the rise in MEA

Dubai, August 20, 2014

Internet advertising is playing a key role in the seismic shift across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in the world of advertising, with a forecast of 27 per cent growth in spending in this area by businesses in the region between 2013 and 2018, said a report.

IDC’s latest research paper ‘New Media Market: Internet Advertising Spending in Middle East and Africa in 2013 and 2014–2018 Forecast’ has attributed this trend to rising Internet penetration and the growing economic affluence of the region's consumer base.

The report found that the continuous developments within the Internet advertising market are driving increasing numbers of organisations to leverage low-cost options such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to target their customers in a more efficient manner.

These wide-reaching platforms offer a more cost-effective entry point than traditional advertising, making them particularly relevant for emerging markets such as MEA, where burgeoning economies and concerted government initiatives are spurring a rise in the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Sony John, programme manager fro telecommunications and media at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said: “The innovative new advertising models facilitated by rising Internet adoption are enabling organisations with limited advertising budgets to more fully participate in the advertising market.

"In this sense, the Internet has 'democraticised' advertising, as it is no longer absolutely necessary for businesses to have huge funds at their disposal in order to hire expensive advertising agencies or marketing firms. And while this has inevitably resulted in some cannibalisation of traditional media advertising, particularly print, the widening participation of smaller organisations in the advertising space has more than made up for it."

The factors driving the proliferation of Internet use throughout the region is the overall improvement in economic activity across most parts of MEA, which has meant that an increasing proportion of people have more disposable income. This growing affluence is enabling consumers to purchase more mobile devices with Internet connection, and is also attracting more advertisers to target these consumers.

There has also been a fall in data tariffs, which is a result of declining voice revenues and heightened competition, which are helping to accelerate Internet use on mobile devices, and crucially, the MEA region has been characterised by a young demographic with an average age between 20 and 28 years, said the report.

This young population is driving a connected culture whereby a large proportion of the population instinctively chooses to go online for their information, social networking, and entertainment needs, it said.

The new research has indicated that advertising formats such as 'mobile search' and 'mobile display' are expected to grow the fastest between 2013 and 2018, clocking an annual growth rate of more than 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, the 'online display' and 'online search' formats will continue to attract the highest levels of spending over this period, it said.

"There remains an overall lack of clarity among organisations around the different Internet advertising options that are available to them," said John.

"Bearing this in mind, ad publishers can help drive this growing phenomenon even further by investing more in generating awareness of the different advertising possibilities that are available online, particularly in relation to the flexible pricing and payment options that can be tailored to meet an organisation's specific budget and needs." - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Internet | Online | Advertising | MEA |

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