Advertising online has been growing with a significant pace for years and is accelerating across the globe. This is a positive indicator for economic outlooks as agencies and businesses are spending money to reach their customers. Secondly, this is a positive indicator for the health of online marketing and advertising on the platform. Many top tier SEO firms also engage in paid search management and coordinate their offerings together in order to bring the greatest return for customers. As a result, growth figures of current and predictive levels of spending are valuable pieces of information.

Looking at the numbers, the total amount of online ad spend worldwide for this year will be $107.33 billion which represents 20% of total ad spending, including all its forms, across the globe. The rate of growth is increasing globally, but it is predicted that it will slow to nearly half that growth rate in 2016. All these latest figures come from recent reports from eMarketer.

During the time of this latest growth, the landscape has looked much the same. The US has been the clear leader in overall spend with a leading number of interview users, searchers, amount of consumer power, and overall paying eyeballs. But, this landscape is all about to change with the progression of emergent economies and internet markets. China will surpass the UK by 2014 and become the second-largest market for online ad spend globally after the US. China hit $11.78 billion by 2014 and the UK will be slightly lower at $11.25 billion.

As cited from Internet Retailer, those facilitating the research from eMarketer indicate that the main reason for this growth in China is simply the growing middle class there with increasing resources to spend on products and services. This is no small point when you consider the number of online users in China is roughly 500 million, as compared to the 314 million in the US.

Spending Elsewhere
Looking around to other regions and additional emerging markets, Brazil’s continuous rise will top the Latin American region. Next year, Brazil is expected to have $2.45 billion in spending and $4.43 across the region, which will then explode to $4.13 and $7.68, respectively, by 2016. We have touched on the Latin American market several times on this blog (with a mobile post, and a SEO post) and it remains a very relevant and growing collection of emerging markets.

From Latin America to the Asia-Pacific, this latter region will surpass Western Europe to become 2nd in terms of regional ad spending by 2013. Led by China, the Asia-Pacific will see $33.57 billion in ad spend in 2013 compared to Western Europe at $31.17 billion. At that point, the North American market will see just over $50 billion and the US makes up over $46 billion of that.

The US and North America is still very much in the driver’s seat in terms of total ad spend, but the emerging consumers on developing markets will push ad spend up for the years to come as they continue to develop. This makes for increased opportunity for all-things-web regarding SEO, local search, paid search, social media marketing, and especially mobile, considering the popularity and meteoric rise of smartphones in those countries. Those looking to expand internationally should evaluate these markets and see the level of opportunity, which has the chance to be quite large.

Mobile marketing has closely followed the fast ascent of smartphone penetration around the globe. Developed markets like that of the US, UK, much of Europe, several countries in Africa, and across Asia and the Pacific have seen marked growth in the use of smartphones. What is most relevant to SEO companies and social media marketing professionals, however, is the fact that search behavior has grown along with the adoption of the smartphone. People are using them to conduct their internet searchers more and more thus opening up the opportunity for businesses to conduct paid search and SEO campaigns to target the mobile searchers. Now Google is looking to the developing markets in Latin America as regions ripe for Android predicting them to take off in the coming years.

Latin America in Focus
There are currently more than 600 million mobiles in Latin America, and although only 1% of the 200 million devices sold in the region as a whole in 2011 were smartphones, the rate is expected to climb. Google estimates for the smartphone adoption are highest in Chile at 25%, Argentina with 24%, and 13% in Brazil. Google sees special opportunity in the Brazilian market because it is largely a blank canvas without any trending devices or popular customer manufacture preferences, and Google wants to assert themselves in that position. This notion is echoed by the fact that Google Play, their market for digital content, will offer e-books and music in the Brazilian market very soon.

Businesses should look to the Latin American markets for opportunity more as they develop their smartphone capabilities. As adoption increases, there are simply going to be more customers for products and services, and businesses will have greater access to them through increased internet access and mobile web access. Coordinated social media and SEO campaigns can take a business to the next level and gain an increased foothold in such new markets.

Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at) and @ryanwbudd for more information about the Latin American markets and the opportunity that exist there.