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The Singapore Online Ad Explosion

A surge in Sin­ga­pore ads is adding buoy­an­cy to online mar­ket­ing as the indus­try exceeds the S$100m, or $107m USD, mark for the first time. A joint study by the Inter­ac­tive Adver­tis­ing Bureau South­east Asia Sin­ga­pore Chap­ter and the Media Devel­op­ment Author­i­ty shows a marked increase in online ad sales, breach­ing all pre­vi­ous records. The num­bers rep­re­sent a con­fi­dence build­ing for the future of dig­i­tal media. This swell is what IAB chair­per­son Loren Shus­ter calls a “water­shed moment.”

The Spark Grows

Although the 2011 fig­ures exceed any pre­vi­ous record for sales, the first signs of the ad push came in 2009. The IAB study shows that 2008 online mar­ket­ing sales in Sin­ga­pore totaled only S$51.3m. That year, busi­ness­es were still focus­ing 96.5 per­cent of their adver­tis­ing bud­gets on oth­er media such as print and tele­vi­sion. The ini­tial crest for online ads began with the first half of 2009 when dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing sales peaked at S$30.2m. The IAB study, which exam­ines sev­er­al years’ data, shows a shift in bud­get­ing towards online ads in 2009.

Results are the strongest yet for year-end 2011 with a 25 per­cent increase between H1 and H2. The first half of the year report­ed sales of S$60.3m with an unprece­dent­ed S$75.6m for the last half.

The Trends

The finan­cial indus­try heads the pack in spend­ing for online sales total­ing S$11.4m in 2011. Trav­el and leisure is a close sec­ond with sales reach­ing S$11.3m. Oth­er notable regions include tech­nol­o­gy, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and busi­ness ser­vices. Gov­ern­ment and pub­lic sec­tor ads increased by 74 per­cent by the end of 2011, and at the bot­tom of the heap – auto­mo­tive, health­care, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and food and beverage.

The Future

Ana­lysts are point­ing out the sig­nif­i­cance of this study. An increase in Sin­ga­pore ad sales means one thing – dig­i­tal media is now an accept­ed form of mar­ket­ing around the world. Not only is it firm­ly root­ed in mul­ti-chan­nel pro­grams but the num­bers show it will con­tin­ue to rise in viril­i­ty as the com­put­er indus­try makes advance­ments. For exam­ple, broad­band speeds are faster each year and mobile devices are becom­ing more common.

Online adver­tis­ing is focus­ing on dis­play and search mar­kets. The key will be for the indus­try to find a way to stay inno­v­a­tive and com­pet­i­tive. It is not going to be enough to have rotat­ing ban­ner ads any­more. Con­sumers are turn­ing to local search direc­to­ries and social net­work­ing. With tech­nol­o­gy pro­duc­ing new and improved devices, mar­ket­ing cam­paigns will have to grow, as well.

The indus­try needs to forge ahead with new ideas, explains IAB Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Ran­ji David. IAB rec­om­mends that online adver­tis­ing busi­ness­es work on a four-point plan to edu­cate, enable, inspire and ele­vate the indus­try to encour­age fur­ther growth.


Image Cred­it: Wiki­me­dia Commons

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