In the last 15 years, the internet has redefined the output of traditional broadcast media — television and radio — as well as print media, such as magazines and newspapers. It offers a number of new or extended services, particularly in marketing and advertising. However, while around three-quarters of enterprises located in the European Union (EU) and employing at least 10 persons had a website in 2016 and almost half used social media, just a quarter (25%) used internet advertising.
Businesses running their marketing campaigns on the internet have developed targeted advertisement methods that increase the likelihood of their promotional marketing messages reaching the right audience. Used by over three-quarters (78%) of EU businesses advertising online, contextual advertising (i.e. ads based on the content of the web pages internet surfers are viewing) was by far the most popular type of targeted internet advertising. This was followed by geo-targeting advertisement (i.e. ads based on the users’ geographic location) with 30% and behavioural targeting advertisement (i.e. ads based on users’ past browsing activities using cookies) with 27%, while the use of other methods of targeted advertising was reported by 35% of EU businesses.
This information on paid internet advertising comes from an article issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and forms part of the results of a survey conducted at the beginning of 2016 on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage and e-commerce in enterprises.
Highest share of enterprises advertising online in Malta, Sweden and Denmark
Among the EU Member States in 2016, internet advertising was used by a third or more of enterprises in Malta (46%), Sweden (42%), Denmark (40%), Ireland, Lithuania and Finland (all 33%), while it concerned less than 20% of enterprises in Romania (12%), Portugal (15%), France and Italy (both 18%) as well as Bulgaria and Hungary (both 19%).
Contextual ads main type in all Member States
In every EU Member State, contextual advertising, i.e. the use of information from the content of internet surfers’ visited webpages or keywords from their queries to identify the audience accurately before sending relevant ads, was by far the main type of targeted online advertising used by enterprises. The highest proportions of enterprises using contextual advertising for their internet campaigns were recorded in the Czech Republic and Poland (both 89%), ahead of Romania (84%), Greece, Latvia and the Netherlands (all 83%), Germany, France and Slovenia (all 82%), Lithuania and Finland (both 81%) as well as Hungary (80%).
Geo-targeting was used by more than half of enterprises advertising online in Cyprus (53%) and by around 40% of them in Ireland (43%), Malta (41%), the Netherlands (40%), Latvia and Finland (both 39%). For behavioural targeting, the highest shares were recorded in Cyprus (48%), the Netherlands and Finland (both 42%).
The European Union (EU) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definitions
Data presented in this News Release are based on the results of the 2016 European Union survey on “ICT usage and ecommerce in enterprises”. This survey covered enterprises with at least 10 persons employed in manufacturing; electricity, gas and steam; water supply; construction; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage; accommodation and food service activities; information and communication; real estate; professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support activities; repair of computers and communication equipment.
Data presented in this News Release refer exclusively to paid internet advertising (paid ads).
Targeted internet advertising focuses on using internet-based technologies that increase the likelihood of promotional marketing messages reaching the right audience. Targeted internet advertising includes dynamic ads using various methods such as online contextual advertising, behavioural targeting and geo-targeting as well as the use of static ads on subjectspecific websites (e.g. displaying ads for spare parts of car engines on websites on vehicles or automotive themes) or websites such as online newspapers, magazines or blogs for specific audience.
Online contextual advertising is a type of targeted internet advertising that uses technologies embedded in websites and apps that choose ads based on the content of the web pages internet surfers view. Internet users are presented with adverts that automated systems (ad servers) have selected for them based on the content of the webpage they are browsing. Similarly, contextual advertising can be based on the specific keywords used in the user’s latest query from the same device.
Behavioural targeting is a form of targeted internet advertising, based on information about users’ past browsing activities recorded by cookies. Businesses may use this information to determine whether an internet user belongs to a specific target audience, subsequently sending internet ads matching the user’s profile.
Geo-targeting is a type of targeted internet advertising that refers to the use of internet users’ geographic location such as the country, region, city and often zip code that provide useful information for targeting suitable advertisements, for example about restaurants nearby.
Other methods of targeted advertising concern the use of static internet ads on subject-specific websites (e.g. displaying ads for spare parts of car engines on websites on vehicles or automotive themes) or on websites such as online newspapers, magazines or blogs for specific audience.
For more information
Eurostat website section on digital economy and society statistics.
Source: Eurostat Press Office