Irish advertising agencies increase online spend
Some 59pc of advertisers and 78pc of Irish agencies have increased spending in online advertising and marketing over the past 12 months, an online marketing conference heard today.
Examining search engine marketing (SEM) specifically, an Amárach survey found that 43pc of advertisers and 34pc of agencies said a growing share of their online budget is being channeled into SEM.
A large percentage of advertisers and agencies, 37pc and 39pc respectively, said they don't use SEM at all; however, 59pc of advertisers rated SEM more effective than other online marketing techniques like pay-per-click advertising or banner ads.
SEM is a form of online market specifically aimed at increasing the visibility or ranking of a website in search engine results pages.
The agencies questioned in Amárach's survey primarily used Google to promote their website while 30pc used Yahoo! and 13pc used MSN.
These results were gathered from online interviews held in March with a 95-strong panel comprising of 51 client-side advertisers and 41 agencies.
O'Neill concluded that the results of the survey showed that the momentum among Irish advertisers and their agencies supports online marketing in general and SEM in particular, though from a low base.
The outlook is good for the expected trend in total spending on online advertising and marketing according to those surveyed; 74pc of agencies and 59pc of advertisers expected spending to increase.
In particular, 60pc of agencies and 49pc of advertisers predicted that spending on SEM as part of their overall online budget would increase.
O'Neill said that response rates to search marketing are above those of other direct response methods such as infomercials "due to the perceived lack of intrusiveness" attached to it.
He said that SEM will account for a growing share of total advertising spending in the next number of years and if it follows the UK trend search advertising will rival the spend on advertising on TV channels such as TG4 and TV3 by 2010 and rival spending on RTE by 2012.
By Marie Boran