Digital media makes ground for advertisers

This week has seen the global congress of the International Advertising Association take place for the first time ever in Moscow, with the convergence of TV and digital media a hot topic.

In a time of innovative technologies, digital media is overtaking other types of advertising and the crisis accelerated that trend, leading investors to shift their money away from traditional media. The statistics show it all too vividly.

Last year saw the whole ad market fall by 26%, with television losing 20% and print media going down by an unprecedented 40%, – with a similar loss for outdoor. In contrast the internet market grew by 6%.

And that was just a start – in the first quarter of this year alone, internet ad sales jumped by 31%. With around 30% of Russians using the Internet, there is plenty of room for growth. However it faces tough competition from TV, according to Eugene Lomize, AD Technologies director, at Yandex.

“Now at least in Russia it's media number one. But digital media is already number two by audience, not by money, but I think in the nearest years it's going to become number two in money too.”

But Rich Riley, MD and senior VP, at Yahoo!, says it isn’t a question of which is first or second, because the two are beginning to merge.

“Historically you'd either run a TV campaign or an Internet campaign and increasingly you'll see campaigns that cross multiple forms of media so an ad will be on-line, on TV, in print, maybe outdoor and it'll be a combination. I think digital will be part of that mix but a bigger part of it.”

However, in terms of integration, Russia media still has a long way to go – says MTS Vice President Mikhail Gerchuk.

“What I don't see enough in Russia is really integrated campaigns when different media play well and compliment each other and give customers really strong message that customers like, customers are impressed with and they want to buy products and services.”

One thing is evident – for the new generation of customers it's much easier to get information from computer screens rather than newspapers, radio or television. Things are changing fast, and now it's the turn for mobile Internet – and compared to the Desk-top, it's ever-present. But what comes next – is anybody's guess.