Posted July 1, 2008 9:39 am by with 8 comments

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As an internet marketer, any report of an increase in online ad spending brings a smile to my face. And a new forecast by ZenithOptimedia is the latest reason for happiness.

Zenith’s original forecast, made in March, said the Internet would account for 9.7 percent of global ad spending this year, for a total of $47.5 billion, and 12.3 percent in 2010, or $66.9 billion.

In the new forecast, Zenith predicts that online spending will exceed 10 percent of all advertising in 2008, for a total of $52.2 billion, and in 2010 account for 13.6 percent, or $78.2 billion.

Makes you want to grab the champagne, right?

But, with all these forecasts, studies, estimates, and whatnot, where’s the accountability? Who’s logging these numbers and then looking back at their accuracy?

We’ve already seen that research companies can be way off base, when it comes to forecasting web spend, so why is it that we just eat these numbers up, without wondering how accurate they are?

I’d love to see a company that keeps track of these estimates. Come 2009, was Zenith correct in its forecast of $52.2 billion in online ad spending for 2008? Which company was the most accurate? Who do we trust?

  • Ah yes….isn’t that part of the wonder of the internet? It’s completely measurable ….. or is it? Since most people have a tough enough time measuring traffic etc. for their own sites I have learned to chuckle at these WAG’s regarding online ad spending etc. No one knows. The only thing that matters is that it works and those who use the medium effectively will more than likely come out on or near the top of the heap.

    Frank Reed’s last blog post..Small Business To Do – Stop Talking and Start Doing

  • Those companies just try to get press-coverage and obviously it works well. It does not matter if they get these numbers from the spinning of a dead frog. The press is happy to write about it.

  • It will be interesting to see the turn out in 2009. One thing si for sure, If you look back 3 years ago at hat was being spent on online marketing, and look at what is being spent now you will see that there is a huge difference. I have no actual report for this, im just basing this on my existing clients. What they spent then, and what they are spending now. I know that this is also ddue to inflation, however I think most people should see this same effect when reviewing your clients budget across the board.

  • Yeah, but you expect the users to smarten up and not get tricked into clicking on ads in the future.

    I think lots of companies could end up being disappointed at the conversion rates after big internet marketing spending.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s last blog post..Ronaldo snubbed from Euro 2008 XI

  • We’ve been tracking the global internet market since 1995 (and the traditional ad market since 1988), and I’m not afraid to admit that we’ve consistently underestimated its growth. There are two main reasons for this. First, new types of internet advertising are being developed all the time, and it is very difficult to predict in advance which will take off. Second, the bodies in each country that monitor ad expenditure (and which we rely on for historical ad expenditure) lag behind the pace of change – only after a particular form of advertising has been around for a while is it properly measured. We consider these forecasts our best estimate given the information available at the time, but know that we can be surprised like everyone else.

    You can find summaries of our previous five forecasts here: This time last year, for example, we predicted the internet would account for 8.6% of global ad expenditure in 2008. One thing we did not know last year was how much the credit crunch would dent corporate confidence. This has accelerated the shift of budgets to the internet, where advertising is more accountable and gives a much clearer ROI than in the traditional media.

  • Definitely great news. I think spending has to increase. With gas going up, more people are going to get online to buy things. With more people online, more advertisers are going to get away from traditional ad spending and into the online world.

    Has to go up right?

    Erik’s last blog post..Wanna Buy Some Blogs?

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  • Internet market is going to expand even more…at least that we can be sure of.