IAB MATRIX STUDY #6: Digital advertising accounts for one third of media spending in Belgium

Digital advertising accounts for one third of media spending in Belgium

Programmatic advertising share keeps growing

According to the six-monthly IAB Matrix survey In 2016, Belgian advertisers have spent on average a third (34%) of their media budgets on digital touchpoints. The share of programmatic advertising keeps growing, but “advertisers tend to be more reserved with regard to this evolution than agencies.”

Belgian advertisers have declared that in 2016 on average 34% of their media budget was spent on digital channels, which means the results of this most recent wave are in line with those from the last one, which was published in the second semester of 2016.

Companies with restricted media budgets have spent a significantly higher percentage on digital channels: those having at their disposal a 500.000 to 1 million euro budget spent 40%, while companies with budgets lower than 100.000 euro spent as much as 57% on digital.

Four channels got the biggest chunk of the budget: social (22%), search (22%), display (21%) and video (16%). Given that ‘social’ and ‘search’ are spent exclusively on worldwide players (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn…) and ‘video’ for the most part (YouTube), more than half of digital budgets is spent with international players.

37% of digital media expenditure was purchased via programmatic advertising in 2016. This is a significant rise compared with 2015 (31%). What is striking is the fact that both advertisers and agencies predict further growth for this share, yet each has a different view on this growth. “A mere 6% of advertisers expects significant growth of programmatic advertising”, says Luc Eeckhout (Phimedia), consultant for IAB. “Most of them expect moderate or limited growth. Of the agencies, more than 60% of respondents expect strong or moderate growth.” 38% of advertisers profess not to understand what ‘programmatic’ means. One year earlier, that was still 46%.

Also notable is the fact that digital touchpoints are increasingly integrating in the complete conversion funnel. Luc Eeckhout: “Digital is not only increasingly applied as a means to generate traffic toward a website or e-commerce platform (91% – the end of the funnel), awareness and image are also increasingly becoming an objective (89%). Moreover, the proportion of campaigns leading toward a physical retail outlet is also rising (69%).”

Stéphanie Radochitzki, Digital Strategy Manager at Space and member of the board at IAB concludes: “Besides ensuring a continuous follow-up of media spending, the Matrix survey also expands further on more qualitative subjects such as knowledge and use of KPI’s or the opinion of advertisers, media and agencies on the main digital trends. This information allows us to take action as and when required by the market: standardising, training, information sharing…”

The sixth edition of the Matrix survey was conducted by Phimedia, SSI and IAB with 433 respondents (advertisers, agencies and media – CAWI). The field research took place in February. The survey is repeated every six months and aims to track evolutions in today’s fast-changing digital media landscape.

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For more, please contact jeremy@iab-belgium.be

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