Dublin-based online marketing agency Interactive Return, which specialises in such essential arts as search engine optimisation (SEO), has become the first digital media agency to be accepted as a member of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners.
The move reflects the growing presence of online advertising in the mainstream media.
Ireland’s advertising and media sector has been long considered behind the times in its grasp of online advertising, unlike the UK where internet advertising now attracts a greater spend than traditional media.
Interactive Return estimates that the online marketing environment in Ireland – comprising search marketing, online advertising, online directories and product placement – could be worth in excess of €30m.
IAPI research shows that online advertising spend in Ireland has already surpassed cinema advertising spend.
Interactive Return chief executive Martin Murray reckons Ireland has reached an important tipping point in terms of the industry’s understanding and acceptance of online marketing.
“The market has long since moved from experimental media spend by some large organisations to a highly measurable member of the marketing mix,” said Murray.
“With more Irish companies targeting international markets and the increased public reliance on the internet for searching and sourcing, the digital marketing mix is set to grow in importance. Online digital marketing and advertising supplements the traditional media and is symbiotic with them.”
However, Murray warned that the internet advertising market is driven by the vast improvements in measurability and the large numbers online, “both of which are set to grow”.
The IAPI’s chief executive Sean McCrave said his members are cognisant of the importance of tailor-made and instantly measurable internet advertising campaigns.
“We are now entering a new arena with the ability to tailor programmes and to use the internet to reach new groups,” McCrave observed.
“As the internet and broadband penetration have grown it is important to reflect these changes with our membership.
Digital advertising agencies will bring additional expertise and help solidify the symbiotic relations that exist between traditional and online advertising,” McCrave added.
By John Kennedy