IAB Belgium: positive results in 2015, same momentum in 2016

BRUSSELS, 22 MARCH 2016 – After a year full of new projects and events in 2015, the Interactive Advertising Bureau is tackling the next few months with the same enthusiasm and the same objective: to develop digital marketing in Belgium and give Belgian advertisers the best insights.

2015 thus began with the election of a new Board of Directors. “That complete change of team gave our association renewed momentum,” Patrick Steinfort, President of the IAB Belgium, is pleased to say.

The highlights that marked the past year include holding a Digital Day, combining professional activities (workshops) and fun ones (Digital Quiz, showcase of the Starflam group) on the same day. “That event drew some 300 people, confirming the level of interest in that format, which offered training and entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere,” observes Patrick Steinfort.

Another highlight of last year was also the publication of two new waves of the Matrix study. The aim of this is to get a feel for three important parameters in the advertising market: the “touchpoints” (points of contact between a brand and a consumer) most valued by advertisers, the amount of investments in digital marketing and the latest “buzzwords” among those working in the sector.

For 2016, the IAB intends to maintain that cruising speed, while living by a motto that will serve as a continuous unifying thread: feet on the ground, head in the clouds.

“On the one hand, we will continue to work on the fundamentals of the market,” explains Patrick Steinfort. “The latest workshops that we organised covered all of the key subjects of the moment: Programmatic Buying, Ad Blockers, Brand Safety, etc. We will endeavour, for example, to answer the many different questions that the market is asking itself on the subject of Programmatic Buying. This method of advertising buying is in the process of radically changing digital, as well as the other big audiovisual media which have all entered the digital dimension in the last few years. So, it is logical for the IAB to provide the advertising market with insights and keys to understanding it.”

From this same point of view, this year, the IAB will reactivate the Adex study, which evaluates the level of investment by Belgian advertisers in digital media. “Current barometers show an incomplete and therefore imperfect reflection of the budgets allocated by advertisers to digital in Belgium,” explains Patrick Steinfort. “The aim of this new study will be to provide a more accurate picture of the reality, in close cooperation with the Digital Media Association (DMA).”

At the same time, another strong and longer-term central theme will relate to the Digital Shift. “The consumer is migrating towards digital and that transformation is accelerating,” continues Patrick Steinfort. “This change is, of course, having repercussions for the media, marketing and communication trades. It is up to us to decipher those transformations in order to move the market forward.”

To this end, in 2016 the IAB will be pursuing a strategy of intensive cooperation with the main professional associations that make up the market today.

Finally, the IAB’s schedule will include numerous events over the next few weeks: in addition to a new version of Digital Day, the association will also be cooperating with the Digital Managers Club to organise the Digital Banquet on 12th May next. This aspires to be the biggest networking event for digital marketing professionals in Belgium. The IAB will also step up its cooperation, among others with the STIMA and the BDMA with a view to joint events or initiatives. Last but not least, the year will be rounded off with the traditional Mixx Awards. These recognise the best digital campaigns of the past year.

“More than ever, the IAB is fulfilling its basic mission: to develop the digital marketing market in Belgium by informing all the players as fully as possible,” concludes Patrick Steinfort. “That objective is achieved through the support of the members and our five structural sponsors in 2016, to which we express our warmest thanks: Mediahuis, Space, Skynet, DigitasLBi and Combell.”

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