I was talking a little while ago about the size of the Romanian advertising market in 2008 and the numbers that IAB Romania, together with PwC, released recently in their ROADS study. I was wondering then what was the size of the online advertising market that the IAB study did not catch for Romania and was wondering how big was Google’s search marketing market, for example.
These days, IAB Europe released the online advertising market size numbers at European level, the 19 markets that they analyzed, including Romania, I assume, since it doesn’t appear on their graphs. The cumulated size of the European online advertising market in 2008, as counted by IAB Europe in collaboration with PwC, amounted to 12.9 billion Euro. As mentioned before, the Romanian online advertising market size was around 20 million Euro in 2008, a figure extremely small even compared with the average size of a European country (if we were to simply divide 12.9 billion Euro to the 19 countries involved in the study).
However, as mentioned before, the growth of the Romanian online advertising market in 2008 was short of 50% as compared with 2007, growth rate that would have placed Romania in top 5 across Europe in terms of growth levels, if only IAB Europe would have included Romania in their graphs (Ionut? Was Romania so insignificant?).If we are to look at the growth of online advertising formats, the IAB Europe study shows search marketing to be the highest growth format, with a year to year growth of 26% in 2008 as compared to 2007. Also, in terms of share of voice, search marketing remains the top format, occupying almost 50% of the total European online advertising market. Taking into account the data at European level, I think it is safe to make some assumptions for the Romanian market as well. If we assume that search marketing is on average 50% of the total online advertising market at European level and if Romania exhibits a similar behavior, we could probably say that in Romania, the search marketing market size was somewhere around 20 mil Euros, with [Google](http://www.google.com "Google") owning most of it.
For those not willing to accept this number as a possibility (thus bringing the total Romanian online advertising market size to a sum around 40 mil Euro), I can also tell you that a Google official firmly stated in a public event in Bucharest this week that, in his opinion, the total Romanian online advertising market is definitely bigger than 30 mil Euro.
Thus, if aside the 20 mil Euro clients have been spending in the Romanian online advertising market in 2008 (mainly display advertising, probably more than 90% at least) there were also 20 mil Euro more spent in search marketing, I believe that interactive agencies not fiddling already with Google SEM should definitely look in this direction. Right now, it seems there are only 2 Google AdWords certified companies, thus there is enough room for growth for other companies that want to take advantage of the SEM market in Romania.
Update: Looking also at the classifieds market size, which is almost the same as display, at least on average at European level, we can also assume that there is probably somewhere in between 10 and 20 mil Euro (at least as potential) in the Romanian online classifieds market as well, search and classifieds not really being present in the Romanian IAB study.