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After nearly a decade of steady economic growth, Colombia finds itself with an increasingly digital populace—and an ad industry that is only just beginning to catch up to it. A new eMarketer report, “ Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks in Colombia: A Rising Digital Consumer Base Slowly Draws Advertisers to the Web,” outlines projections for a slow but steady increase in major forms of digital ad spending throughout its forecast period.
According to the World Bank, Colombia's annual GDP growth averaged 4.8% between 2004 and 2014, including gains of 4.9% and 4.6%, respectively, in 2013 and 2014. Among the six largest economies in the region, which contribute a total of 82.0% to the region's output, Colombia's growth rate this year will be second only to Peru’s. (The others are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that Colombia's economy will continue to expand. Its share of the region’s economy will rise from 5.6% this year to 6.3% in 2018, the IMF predicts.
This period of prosperity is helping Colombia’s ad industry. eMarketer estimates that total media ad spending rose 11.0% in Colombia last year and will expand an additional 7.0%, to $1.46 billion, in 2015.
eMarketer estimates that advertisers in Colombia will earmark 11.4% of their ad budgets for digital in 2015, well below the 16.3% regional average—a rate boosted by Mexico and Brazil, both of which spend lavishly on digital.
Naturally, an average is just that, and companies in Colombia with an international footprint or an interest in digital transactions are taking the lead in digital advertising. According to Jorge Alberto Ríos Molina, brand manager at Movistar Colombia, a subsidiary of Spain’s telecom giant Telefónica, “Our digital ad spending is at about 15% [of total media ad spending].”
In absolute terms, digital ad spending in Colombia will grow at a healthy 25% rate to reach $165.7 million this year, eMarketer calculates.
Digital ad spending per internet user in Colombia will reach only $5.80 in 2015, the second lowest among the six countries in the region tracked by eMarketer.
eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.
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