Economic slowdown in Estonia = Reduced marketing budgets

Do not be afraid.

Advertisers in Estonia (and elsewhere in EU and US) are starting to shift more spend to the internet as they come under pressure to reduce traditional media budgets.

Clever online marketers inside client companies already have many of the tools and relationships in place to ride this economic downturn successfully.
In an uncertain economic climate where even some banks are becoming too afraid to lend to each other and businesses (and consumers) are finding it tougher to get loans, it is no surprise that Estonian companies are beginning to look very closely at their marketing and advertising budgets.
The axe is falling…

But what does this mean for online marketing in Estonia?

Well a clue is perhaps that in the last week we have had twenty or so enquiries so its not bad news for us.

Paradoxically, the economic squeeze is our (and other internet companies) opportunity to shine 🙂

Reduced budgets = companies looking for better advertising return on investment

Some international reports predict the biggest fall in advertising budgets for years BUT internet advertising spend is predicted to increase by double digit percentages and in many markets will probably see the largest rises of any advertising spend category.

2007 was another boom year for the internet in Estonia.

The growth of internet usage is continuing rapidly, thanks to ever-faster broadband connections and greater market penetration.
The internet is now often seen (by our clients and others) as a great way to reach targeted audiences quickly and effectively.

For Estonian marketers, we predict that online advertising will touch an ever growing audience and an increasingly diverse demographic.

Our experience with e-campaigns proves we can hit the tough to reach young male market but we are also finding success targeting women and older groups too now.

So, Estonian marketers CAN feel confident that the internet is a really reliable way to hit a BIG target audience, BUT marketing budgets ARE reducing so every Estonian Crown needs to be focused on the most effective e-channels and measuring performance is key.

It’s going to be really important to target carefully and not to waste on “big splashes”.
Pay for performance and performance measurement will come up as a subject time and time again in 2008/9.

Yes of course there is still room for branding campaigns – its not all about direct response but even the rules for branding are changing fast – often driven by internet behaviour.
Users/consumers are shaping brands and people turn increasingly to brands they have had positive interactions with online. (So long terms campaigns/strategies focussing on creating and sustaining online engagement should be considered carefully.)

Again, that’s good news for Estonian companies who have been experimenting (with more than just banner ads) over the past couple of years. They will have the edge.

Change won’t stop there.
Online publishers will have to become more accountable for results of clients’ banner ad campaigns – the ones that do will see fantastic growth, the ones that don’t will continue to disappoint their clients and the media agencies will have no choice but to shift spending to “alternative e-marketing”: things like – email marketing, search engine marketing, online PR (blogging, social media, link building etc.) etc etc etc.

Sad though it is (personal level) to see an economic downturn I am very excited about it from altex’s business perspective.
Our prediction for altex growth for this year is 100-300%

If you are an Estonian client marketer and you are not yet experimenting with e-marketing then “wake up and smell the coffee” as the Americans would say..

aeg eksperimenteerida TM is now truer than it ever was.

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