The FINANCIAL — In the last 15 years, the internet has redefined the output of traditional broadcast media — television and radio — as well as print media, such as magazines and newspapers.
It offers a number of new or extended services, particularly in marketing and advertising. However, while around three-quarters of enterprises located in the European Union (EU) and employing at least 10 persons had a website in 2016 and almost half used social media, just a quarter (25%) used internet advertising.
Businesses running their marketing campaigns on the internet have developed targeted advertisement methods that increase the likelihood of their promotional marketing messages reaching the right audience. Used by over three-quarters (78%) of EU businesses advertising online, contextual advertising (i.e. ads based on the content of the web pages internet surfers are viewing) was by far the most popular type of targeted internet advertising. This was followed by geo-targeting advertisement (i.e. ads based on the users’ geographic location) with 30% and behavioural targeting advertisement (i.e. ads based on users’ past browsing activities using cookies) with 27%, while the use of other methods of targeted advertising was reported by 35% of EU businesses.
Highest share of enterprises advertising online in Malta, Sweden and Denmark
Among the EU Member States in 2016, internet advertising was used by a third or more of enterprises in Malta (46%), Sweden (42%), Denmark (40%), Ireland, Lithuania and Finland (all 33%), while it concerned less than 20% of enterprises in Romania (12%), Portugal (15%), France and Italy (both 18%) as well as Bulgaria and Hungary (both 19%).
Contextual ads main type in all Member States
In every EU Member State, contextual advertising, i.e. the use of information from the content of internet surfers’ visited webpages or keywords from their queries to identify the audience accurately before sending relevant ads, was by far the main type of targeted online advertising used by enterprises. The highest proportions of enterprises using contextual advertising for their internet campaigns were recorded in the Czech Republic and Poland (both 89%), ahead of Romania (84%), Greece, Latvia and the Netherlands (all 83%), Germany, France and Slovenia (all 82%), Lithuania and Finland (both 81%) as well as Hungary (80%).
Geo-targeting was used by more than half of enterprises advertising online in Cyprus (53%) and by around 40% of them in Ireland (43%), Malta (41%), the Netherlands (40%), Latvia and Finland (both 39%). For behavioural targeting, the highest shares were recorded in Cyprus (48%), the Netherlands and Finland (both 42%).