Online marketing and Internet advertising are being recognized as a real and significant means to tap into the growing presence of consumers online. It is now recognized that despite a drop in U.S. consumer confidence and a none-too-healthy U.S. economy, there will nonetheless be double-digit growth in the money businesses are spending to advertise their products and services online.
Online advertising will grow by 20% this year, increasing from $19.9 billion in 2007 to $23.8 billion by the end of 2008, according to the latest market research released by JupiterResearch. This, at a time when a slumping U.S. economy is dragging down economic growth across much of North America and Europe. Traditional advertising, meanwhile, is forecast to grow only 4% in 2008.
These growth numbers highlight the importance of online marketing and Internet advertising to a burgeoning e-commerce sector. The current issue of Newsweek features an article on “A Second Coming of the Dot-Coms” which traces the growing shift of real and not speculative dollars online. Quite rightly, Newsweek attributes the resurrection of e-commerce in large part to the fact that “the majority (or at least a sizable minority) of the population in key markets like the United States, Europe and Asia now has access to broadband connections.”
The double-digit growth in ad spending online should highlight the importance of having an effective online marketing platform for businesses large and small. Without a planned online marketing strategy and a web site that is optimized so that search engines like Google can find and read it, small businesses and growth businesses cannot compete online. Large companies are pouring millions into Internet advertising campaigns that are dominating the bandwidth consumers are tapping into with sophisticated web sites and platforms that use the latest and most effective search engine optimization techniques to dominate their markets. Fortunately, the Internet is nothing if not democratic and small companies and growth businesses can effectively market their products and services and find their niche online using the same techniques and strategies as the largest companies and online players.