Online advertising in 2009

We’re only a few weeks short from the annual predictions that will pop up in the blogosphere. Which will be the key trends for 2009 in technology, advertising, … etc. One prediction that will stand out in many of these overviews relates to online advertising trends for 2009, at least that’s what I believe. It’s not so hard to foresee this happening though as much discussion around the topic is already going on right now.


Gotta love this Careerbuilder ad they used on Silicon Alley Insider btw ;) In another post on Alley Insider they foresee a 10% decline in online advertising next year and slightly more in 2010, comparing today’s situation to the dotcom crash when the market fell up to 25% (see graphs below).


This year is not over yet though and predictions for 2008 are that yet with the slowing economy, the online advertising market is expected to grow 23%. So even if you believe that advertising will take a hit in 2009 (which I think most agree it will), it’ll be interesting to see if it’s just going to slow down growth (like only 14,5% as eMarketer predicts) or whether it will indeed declines as the Alley Insider and others predict. Also interesting to see is which parts of the advertising industry will be most affected by the slowing economy. Television advertising only grew by 8% in 2008 and a lot of people think that mainly traditional advertising will get a hit (where the biggest budgets are still today) and that some of that money will be diverted to online ad spend.

I believe that is what’s going to happen anyway. Online advertising will still grow in 2009, although it will slow down versus the 2008 or 2007, and the slower economy and lowered budgets will force people to rethink their plans in which digital might finally be looked at as good alternatives. There’s something about bad times that make people more open to embraces changes, so online advertising might suffer less than traditional advertising. Last but not least it’s also worth noting that the online advertising industry is much more mature than it was in 2001-2002. Curious to see what predictions will be once they start coming in December.

Bonus – 10 Ways Digital can help you thrive in a recession (David Armano)



  1. b-. says:

    What about the shift from traditional – more expensive – advertising to more economical advertising online, as pressure on the margins increases. Companes might perceive it as a way to get their brand out of there, but at a lower cost.

  2. Momekh says:

    @b: That is what intelligent companies would (or rather, should) do.

    The model that online advertising presents, really, it can’t get any cheaper than that. In fact, I personally think Google has set up the barrier to entry as such that any serious competitor to Adsense/Adwords has to give higher payouts to publishers and charge the customer(client) less. Basically, shrink their own margins.

    What say you Mr Hoet? As this is my first comment on your blog, I would like to know not only your thoughts on my humble opinion:), but also would like to know what exactly is MS’s plan to get all them bloggers on board? Any link/you-own-post you can refer to etc?
    (now that I think about it, my first comment has pretty much nothing to do with my request :/ )
    God bless and good luck with the work,

  3. Kris Hoet says:

    @b: Totally. It’s sort of what I was trying to say :) I believe online advertising will still grow (although less than in 2007 and 2008) and that there will be again a shift from traditional to digital because of the recession.

    @Momekh: First of all, welcome to this blog, hope you enjoy reading it. It’s true that Google changed a good part of the game in online advertising with Adsense/Adwords, but when I talk about online/digital advertising I’m thinking of a broader spectrum than just search related advertising (although it’s part of it). RE your other question, MS has a AdWords-like service which is called AdCenter ( but it’s not yet rolled out globally yet and we’re just ‘dogfooding’ a program that you could compare to AdSense which you can see here (left column): (good blog btw).

  4. Momekh says:

    Hey thanks for the reply.
    MS is such a big company with so many inroads in our daily lives, wonder how something like AdCenter (with I think 3 years into the game) are performing? After you mentioned it, I check out a bit about Adcenter so my information is exceptionally superficial, must admit.
    And this ‘dogfooding’ (something-like-Adsense), can I ‘test’ it somehow? I checked out MS’s website on ‘publisher solutions’ but oddly (‘shockingly’ maybe the word, given the presence of MS), there is no news on how one can sign up or whether when one can sign up. Any news if I can test it on a few websites myself? (I fear you will suspect that I am playing the part of the wannabe-enthusiast; I fear that you may be right).

    Other than that, this blog looks quite interesting, given the marketing stuff you talk about. The ad on the top of the bus was first ‘conceived’ for client ‘The Economist’ I believe and is a wonderful concept.
    I think the challenge in online ad creation will be met with great success by a successful copywriter rather than a gifted art-director (strict differentiation here), given the ‘textual’ nature of the Net (how text blends in more easily and how it can convey trust blah blah :) ).

    I will end this now :/

  5. Hibben says:

    I totally agree with you that the economic downturn is forcing advertisers and marketers to think outside the box when planning their campaigns. I am the editor of Adcision Luxury Media’s monthly newsletter called The Luxury Letter and awhile back I actually wrote an article arguing essentially what you juse said, that there would definitely be change but hopefully a change toward the more creative. (you can check it out here:

    Thanks for your predictions…. I certainly hope we are both right!

  6. Kirsty Clegg says:

    Hello, my name is Kirsty Clegg and I am a 3rd year Advertising & Marketing Communications student from Bournemouth University. I need to recruit consumers who show a vested interest in the following areas; online advertising, Coca – Cola online, Branded Content and online power of consumer.
    Consequently these are the search terms I used to find your blog and am therefore keen to talk to you. This research is for my dissertation and so imperative to my degree.
    Firstly, if you would be interested in airing your opinions about said areas please take a couple of minutes to fill out this questionnaire ( simply to determine if your demographics fit with my research.
    I would be incredibly grateful if you can take the time out to help with this, feel free to find me through my wordpress (
    Yours sincerely,

    Kirsty Clegg

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