Marketers Want to Invest More in Online Media

Comprehensive Digital Marketing Compass 6 Study with research firm SKOPOS examines trends and differences in 14 European countries.

DÜSSELDORF, June 4, 2009 – Despite the worldwide financial and economic crisis, 79% of marketing decision makers throughout Europe say they want to increase their investment in online marketing in 2009.

That's one of the key findings in Digital Marketing Compass 6 – a European Outlook for 2009, a broadly based survey recently conducted in 14 European countries by Neo@Ogilvy/Planetactive Düsseldorf, in cooperation with SKOPOS, a leading market research company based in Hürth, Germany.

In this sixth edition of the Digital Marketing Compass, the German branch of Ogilvy's worldwide digital and direct media network surveyed 873 media planners in late 2008 and early 2009 in the UK, Turkey, Sweden, Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria on the status quo of their investments, future budget planning and attitudes toward online marketing.

The Digital Marketing Compass 6 shows that online media is firmly established in Europe and already used as frequently as traditional media. In addition, the trend towards greater marketing efficiency by increased use of digital instruments is proving to be relatively crisis-proof. Europe's cultural, economic and political diversity is also reflected in the results of the study: when it comes to planning and implementing online marketing, each country has its own unique characteristics.

"Online marketing, in particular online media, is becoming increasingly international," said Stefan Längin, Managing Director, Germany and the EMEA hub at Neo@Ogilvy/Planetactive about the survey. "Yet there are still very few multi-country studies such as this that show the specific characteristics of national markets. It's also one of the few 360 online marketing research studies, covering website budgets as well as spending for email marketing."

He added that with international clients including SAP, Cisco, IBM, American Express and British Airways – for which the Düsseldorf office has just planned a campaign for 38 European and African countries – the agency was able to rely on authentic data from the individual regions. "The Digital Marketing Compass 6 allows us to show the differing extent to which online media is used in Europe, and which strategies are used most frequently," said Längin.

In contrast to many other studies about online media, not only "big spenders" were surveyed, but also decision makers in small and medium-sized companies who often conduct their media planning in-house. The Digital Marketing Compass 6 can therefore provide representative results on the use of online media and the attitudes of decision makers in Europe.

Summary of Digital Marketing Compass 6 – a European Outlook for 2009

Online versus offline:

  • Online media is already being used as often in Europe as traditional media. The majority of advertisers in Europe (77%) think that online media are flexible and feel that target groups can be easily reached online (64%).

  • In addition, 43% of those surveyed think online media deliver better results than offline media.

  • For many decision makers, online marketing is also suitable for branding campaigns.

  • Better target group access, increased coverage, speed and flexibility are online media's greatest strengths according to those surveyed.
  • Media budgets:

  • Even in these times of economic crisis, the media budget allocation changed only slightly compared to 2008. The share of the online marketing budget for Europe as a whole increased from 22% to 24% in 2009.

  • However, there are huge regional and industry differences when it comes to online marketing's share of the entire budget.

  • Overall, 79% of those surveyed plan on investing more in the Internet in 2009 than they did in 2008.

  • Media budgets are usually distributed between online and offline in an annual strategy, and often depend on current market activities or the successes of the previous year.

  • The breakdown of online campaigns into branding (38%) versus performance/transaction campaigns (41%) is generally not going to change in 2009.
  • Online media activity:

  • It appears that marketers have found their ideal marketing mix, or do not want to risk experimenting in times of financial and economic uncertainty.

  • In 2008, the frequency e-mail marketing usage was extraordinarily high, with 32% of respondents saying their used it. Comparatively, the corresponding figure for display and search combined is just 26%.

  • E-mail marketing looks to continue to be the big winner for 2009 as well. All other channels remain at roughly the same level recorded in the previous year, although display declined slightly.

  • The use of social media increased from 6% in 2008 to 7% in 2009.
  • Positioning and branding:

  • Overall, a clear trend towards quality and professionalism is evident.

  • Three-quarters of those surveyed consider the positioning of campaigns to be important.

  • 60% of respondents agree with the statement that "brand impact" is just as important as the measurable quantitative success of a campaign.

  • The instruments of the digital marketing mix, such as SEO and SEM, are increasingly being implemented by specialist agencies.
  • Marketing mix:

  • Overall, a strong majority of people surveyed (75%) believe there will be a significant change in the communication mix, determined by fundamental alterations in media consumption.

  • Various digital marketing media will continue to increase strongly to very strongly in importance.

  • Mobile marketing, e-mail marketing with the company's own address pool, as well as search-related marketing (SEO and SEM) are gaining in significance.

  • 60% of those surveyed had invested more or considerably more in online marketing in 2008. For 2009, they anticipate less investment activity.

  • Overall, however, the majority still think that their companies will invest more or considerably more in the Internet in 2009.
  • National trends:

  • There are significant differences in digital marketing activity between the 14 European countries.

  • Display advertising or web services are used more often in Germany and Switzerland than in other countries, while e-mail marketing is of lesser importance there compared to other European countries.

  • In contrast, countries such as Turkey, Italy, Belgium or Sweden use e-mail marketing (in particular with external addresses) more frequently than other countries.

  • Growth is occurring at different levels in the countries surveyed. For instance, while the share of online media will increase in Belgium from 14% to 16% in 2009, its share in the UK will increase from 27% to 30%.
  • Large versus small-to-medium-size marketers:

  • Some results show notable differences between companies that plan their own media marketing and have budgets of less than a million Euros, and larger companies that employ agencies.

  • The former invest a greater share of their overall budget in online marketing (2008: 24% versus 18%) and invest a larger percentage of their budget in e-mail marketing – especially with their own addresses – or web services.

  • The use of comparatively low-priced social media is also more pronounced in companies that plan their own media marketing.

  • Larger companies that employ agencies use display advertising more frequently.

  • Companies that plan their own media marketing attach just as much importance to "brand impact" as they do to quantitatively measurable campaign success. For companies that employ agencies, clicks and ROI have top priority.
  • To learn more about the Digital Marketing Compass 6, please contact Tanja Bell at

    About Neo@Ogilvy
    Neo@Ogilvy ( is one of the world's largest full-service digital and direct media agencies with more than 650 specialists in 39 offices across 32 countries. The agency manages digital media investments for blue-chip clients such as IBM, American Express, Cisco, TD Ameritrade, Kodak, Yahoo! and others, providing a full range of digital and direct media strategy, planning and buying, direct print and TV, email marketing, search marketing, mobile marketing, analytics and emerging platform services. Neo@Ogilvy is part of The Ogilvy Group (, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world with 450 offices in 120 countries providing advertising, relationship and interactive marketing, public relations, sales promotion and related services. Ogilvy services Fortune Global 500 companies including American Express, BP, DuPont, Ford, GSK, Gillette, IBM, Kodak, Kraft, Mattel, Morgan Stanley, Nestlé, Unilever, and YUM.

    Contact: Jack Mello
    Date: June 04, 2009
    Office: Düsseldorf