Forget Percentages — UK Smashes The EU In Mobile Marketing

Forget Percentages — UK Smashes The EU In Mobile Marketing

by , Staff Writer, July 2, 2018
Covering figures is interesting because all too often publications can be sucked into reporting on growth percentages, meaning that new and emerging markets leap out of the page as offering a far better investment opportunity than the UK.

Hence, when I saw Netimperative’s very useful coverage of the latest AdEX Benchmark figures from IAB Europe, I thought it best to have a closer look at the original report. Belarus, Russian and Serbia were picked out by the site for showing strong growth. It’s a fact that is good to know, but I always find myself reacting to such figures as a Devil’s Advocate, looking to inject a little common sense around what the real picture is.  

The first thing one see from a general picture of the market for 27 European countries, including Russia, is that digital advertising has doubled across the region in just the past five years to hit €48bn in 2017. This is due to growth in digital marketing budgets levelling out at 12% to 13% each year since the global financial crash. IAB Europe points out that the new growth is coming in three areas — social, video and, where the two so often meet, mobile.

Interestingly, and again as a macro view, the UK is way out ahead in the region for spending €240 per consumer per year on digital market — that is around four times the European average. This is no doubt helped by the market leading in premium advertising solutions, such as video — some 38% of all display budgets are going to video in the UK compared to an average of 27%.

The real killer stat comes with the amount of budget devoted to mobile display in the UK. It’s not worth having any false modesty here or beating around the bush. At nearly €4bn per year, the UK market is pretty much the size of all of the the 26 markets put together. To put that into perspective, combine mobile spending on display in France, Germany and Italy — the next three biggest markets — and you’re still only halfway to meeting the size of the UK market. 

In fact, for mobile search too, the UK is so far ahead with a €3.6bn spend on mobile search is equivalent the six next biggest markets combined — that’s Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Sweden.

To take one of those impressive percentage growth figures for, say, search more than doubled in the Czech Republic last year. Sounds good, and I’m sure it is an exciting market to be in, but that more than doubling meant that mobile search was worth €65m. The 37% growth in the UK took mobile search spending to the aforementioned €3.6bn. That’s around sixty times the size, in case you don’t have a calculator to hand. And 37% growth would be as near as damn it another billion Euros coming in to the market, compared to the €30m or so that doubled the size of the Czech market.

I’m not saying this to sound boastful. I just think we can lose sight of the real picture when we become addicted to percentage and growth. Sure, some emerging economies have shown good growth, and that’s great. However, you can forget that in money terms, rather than a percentage of a very low starting point, the established markets have fared much better. Search Marketing Daily