Online advertising will remain the ’poor relation’ of broadcast and
print media for the next few years, despite an explosion of dotcom
start-ups and a sharp increase in the number of internet users.
Online research company Fletcher Research discovered that marketers of
both internet and non-web companies allocate an average 7 per cent of
their overall ad budget to the medium.
It predicts this figure will rise to 16 per cent by 2004, meaning
new-media owners will see advertising revenues rise steeply.
Fletcher Research also believes that the online ad market will expand
from pounds 50 million in 1999 to pounds 479 million in 2002.
However, it forecasts that television will remain the preferred platform
for mass-consumer advertising ’over the next few years and beyond’, with
companies opting for posters, press advertising, direct mail and
telesales before looking at the web.
’Our research indicates that offline advertising by dotcoms is already
proving to be a winning strategy,’ said Caroline Sceats, business
analyst at Fletcher Research. ’Companies that spend heavily on TV
advertising achieve far greater brand awareness than those that don’t.
For instance, the UK web brands that are enjoying widespread consumer
awareness, such as Freeserve, AOL and Egg, have done so on the back of
highly visible TV and print campaigns in recent months.’
Further predictions on the web advertising industry will be delivered by
William Reeve, head of Fletcher’s internet practice, when he speaks at
the @dtech conference tomorrow night (1 February) at the Savoy.
Fletcher Research is also working on a report that studies the
effectiveness of various online advertising tools such as banners,
sponsorships and microsites.
The report will be published in the second week of February. However,
some findings have been released already. For example, search sites and
portals are taking the lion’s share of online advertising. In 1999,
Yahoo! ran 103 ad campaigns, Excite took 88 and UK Plus carried 81. They
are the most popular sites for mass-market campaigns, although some
specialists such as financial services providers and computer companies
prefer sector-specific sites.
Fletcher also found that over half of UK web users have clicked on a web
ad, but, at the same time, 34 per cent are annoyed by ads and 24 per
cent considered them a time-wasting diversion.
In addition to producing management reports, Fletcher Research provides
market-research data on British internet users through UK Internet User
Monitor, the largest scale research project on the net.
It also owns the web advertising monitoring service Internet AdWatch.