"Italians spending more time on the web and less on other media" IAB Italy

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Italy hosted the 3rd forum on Interactive Advertising on November 3rd in Milano.
IAB is the Italian charter of IAB Europe, a non-profit Association representing major players in online marketing, media planning, and advertising campaign management.
This year more than 1.200 participants met and discussed online consumer dynamics – how habits are changing and new needs emerging.

The agenda featured a plenary session where Layla Pavone, President of IAB Italy presented new information on the status of the Italian market. “There is a significant window of opportunity for those willing to embrace the Internet as a new and viable opportunity for their business growth” Layla said in her presentation.

More than 20 million Italians, log on to the Internet regularly, do less browsing and more spending as users become consumers and the Web a central part of their everyday life. According to Audiweb by Nielsen/NetRatings, Italian users visit sites more often (+26%), are on line longer than ever (+41%), and view more pages (33%) thanks to the availability of high speed internet access. Consequently users are spending more time on the Web devoting less time to other media.

Reports indicate 35% of the Italian population have regular access to the Internet with an 8% increase on annual basis. 74% of users have a degree or High School Certification.

Edmondo Lucchi of Eurisko New Media Division described a general rise in interest in the Web and an increase in online expenditure. The presentation illustrated how the number of Italians who purchased at least once online was just under the 4 million benchmark earlier this year in June. The presentation went on to describe the typical Italian user as one who:

  • Seeks shops carrying the product/service being researched (68%)
  • Identifies the closest shops to purchase products/services (66%)
  • Finds detailed information on a product/service (63%)
  • Compares prices/costs of products/services (63%)
  • Identifies products/services to satisfy a specific need (60%)
  • Is informed on products/services of interest (58%)
  • Compares technical features and/or performance of products/services prior to purchase (56%)
  • Enjoys browsing websites to see products/services (53%)
  • Discovers new products/services never thought of before (53%)

Paolo Duranti, Managing Director of Nielsen Media Research Southern Europe, described a general increase of advertising expenditure with a 13% increase in online advertising expenditure.
The significant boost in online presence derives from the increased speed connection via DSL.

Ramon Grijuela of Telecom Italia Wireline described an exciting scenario for the immediate future with DSL profiles shifting from consumption to flat rate and connection speed on the rise up to 12 Mbit/s. IPTV was announced by Ramon and will be launched later this month on the portal ROSSOALICE where downloads and Pay Per View are already a reality.

Danny Meadows Klue, CEO of IAB Europe, described a scenario of extreme change and paradigm shift, catalyzed by the convergence of Internet and traditional media: As more and more people go online, the need to re-think marketing and promotion increases. Technological advancement provides the user with new means to communicate, shop, and search for information. Danny went on to conclude that technology will re-shape our lives and force Marketeers to use more of a ‘work in progress’ approach, as new ways to communicate and live a networked existence become reality.
From a Search perspective, the message is clear: online promotion budgets will rapidly increase and online promotion must go beyond the mere website presence.

A session of the forum was dedicated to the review of case histories presented by several company representatives. All cases presented were of consumer products such as automobiles, mortgages, cosmetics, telephone directory services, and condoms. It was surprising to learn how a considerable amount of mortgage applications were received directly online: Home financing is a rather traditional sector, the times are a changing …

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