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 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.
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.
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