Digital attracts a third of advertising investments in Belgium

Matrix study: digital attracts a third of advertising investments in Belgium

According to the 5th wave of the Matrix study carried out by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), advertisers dedicate, on average, 34.7% of their advertising budgets to digital media. A figure that’s been rising steadily since the first survey.

The digital media landscape is constantly changing. Almost every day brings with it a new kind of technology, a new economic model or an innovative new player. In this ever-evolving environment, fleeting fashions run alongside fundamental trends, which can confuse the picture for both advertisers and communication agencies.

For that reason, in 2014, the IAB began a study called “Matrix”, aimed at measuring three key parameters on the advertising market: the touchpoints (points of contact between a brand and a consumer) and performance indicators most frequently used by advertisers, the scale of investments in digital marketing and the fashionable buzzwords for those working in the sector.

This fifth wave confirms, once again, that digital media have become preferred channels for Belgian advertisers, who allocate 34.5% of their budgets to them on average. “In addition, 89% of respondents state that their on-line investments will increase in the next twelve months,” emphasises Luc Eeckhout from Phimedia, which produced the study on behalf of the IAB. “This statement applies equally to both the agencies and the advertisers we approached.”

This fifth version looked, in particular, at the use of digital channels by agencies and advertisers and at their perception of their effectiveness. So, for example, we see that e-mail marketing (named by 84.5% of the respondents), content on social media (78.9%), the Website (75%), natural referencing (67.3%) and sponsored links on search engines (56.3%) are the main concerns of advertisers in the digital world.

For their part, communication agencies cite content on social networks (78.4%), e-mail marketing (73.4%), sponsored links on search engines (73.4%), advertising on social networks (71.2%) and natural referencing (68.9%) as preferred channels.

“Here we see an interesting discrepancy between the responses from one group and the other,” underlines Stéphanie Radochitzki, who is in charge of the studies at the IAB and Digital Strategy Director for Space. “While advertisers concentrate, above all, on the ecosystem that revolves around their Websites, agencies are more focused on what they offer in terms of designing and managing advertising campaigns, which is logical.”

On the question of effectiveness, advertisers endorse word of mouth, natural referencing, sponsored links on search engines, their Website as well as interaction on social networks as the digital channels that get the best results. On the other hand, audio and video formats, graphic banners or “native advertising” are regarded as the least successful.

“Here, we detect the need to generate results in the short-term,” notes Stéphanie Radochitzki. “Perhaps there’s also a lack of knowledge about some channels and about the role they can play in the path-to-purchase followed by the customer. So, there’s a need to continue winning over the market in order to give the decision-makers a better understanding of digital.”

This fifth wave of the Matrix study was produced with the support of STIMA and BDMA and carried out by the Phimedia company in cooperation with iVox on a panel of 522 decision-makers, including 350 advertisers.

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