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Spain: Why Is Online Ad Spending Prospering Amid An Economic Downturn?

Spain remains the European country with the highest unemployment rate, currently standing at 22.9 percent. Often, marketing budgets stand first in line to get squeezed whenever companies are facing tough times, but despite deep economic crisis in Spain, online ad spending has grown significantly in the past two years and is expected to march on unimpeded in 2012, with a 15.3 percent increase, eMarketer predicts.

Online Ad Spend Spain

In almost all markets we have seen digital eating into traditional media’s share of the total ad market. Spain’s online ad spending will grow its share of the total ad spend market, from 16.9% in 2011 to 19.1% by the end of this year, as traditional advertising channels are forecast to either stay at the same level or decline. In fact, just to add, this is the year where U.S. online ad spend is set to exceed that of print for the first time ever.

This begs the question: How come online ad spending is prospering amid an economic downturn?

My guess is, without having sufficient proof to back it up, that an overwhelming majority of Spanish marketers have in fact seen their marketing budgets shrinking over the past years. In addition, marketing is no longer considered this intangible playground, as top level management executives increasingly expect marketers to measure ROI of their marketing initiatives. In that regard, it’s only logical that justifying investments become even more prevalent when money is scarce. This forces marketers to look for advertising media platforms with lower entry-level fees where performance can easily be measured as well – and, needless to say, here the internet comes in handy.

The mainstream adoption of the internet, combined with its ability to deliver ultra-targeted and easily measurable ads, and often for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising like broadcast or print, this platform delivers something that is possibly even more appealing to marketers in economic downturns.

Well, back to the statistics and Spain.

According to eMarketer, the significant increase in online ad spend in Spain is especially propelled upwards by video and banner ads, as these platforms are well-suited to accompany the major sporting events coming up this year, such as the London Olympics and the UEFA Euro Cup. Double-digit growth rates are forecast up until 2015 where the total estimated value of the Spanish online ad market is set to be  2.0 billion dollars, up from 1.1 billion in 2010.

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Immanuel Simonsen

Research Manager at Webcertain
As the Research Manager of multilingual web marketing agency Webcertain, Immanuel heads up the company’s global market research activities and large content marketing projects. He is the author of several reports and guides, including ‘The Essential Guide to Rel-Alternate-Hreflang’ and ‘The Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013’. Apart from being a tutor at the International Marketing School -- teaching online marketing professionals on business opportunities around the globe -- Immanuel is a regular speaker at the International Search Summit, a leading event series dedicated to multilingual search and social media marketing.

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