PPC Networks in Central and Eastern Europe

Dispelling the myth

Despite the fact that the Central and Eastern Europe is a large and emerging market with regards to PPC Networks, there is still for some reason, a fear of these networks based on people’s bad experience’s in the past. Most of the fears are not really justified. As I am sure most of you are aware fraudulent clicks and such like is not something that can be blamed solely on CEE country’s, it is a wide spread problem within the industry that is slowly being solved.

In this article we will cover just 9 CEE country’s. Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia and Serbia and the networks that cover these country’s.

The general state of the Pay Per Click networks in these country’s is both good and improving and even though Google of course is the big boy, he is not a big as you think. With the language barriers, it has meant that there was space for others to join the search market.

In the Czech Republic for example (The most mature PPC market in the region) besides Google you also have Seznam (search and context), and Etarget (context) , Facebook (context). The CZ market has a good growth of 10-15% , whereas it’s neighbor Slovakia has even better estimated growth of 15-20%, this is mainly due to Google, plus the growing impact of Facebook and some good product innovations on the part of Etarget.

In Slovakia Etarget is without a doubt the biggest player when it comes to PPC (Local context) networks. But of course there are also a number of small players out there doing there part.

As for Poland, which is the biggest market in the region, it will also look forward to growth in the region of 10-15%. The big players in Poland are Google, Adkontect, Facebook, Business click, and ARBO/smartkontext plus Etarget, which is slowly pushing it’s way into the Polish market. If on the other hand we head south and cross the Danube into Austria, we find a market place with high volume (360 MIL Eur 2010).

PPC market in Austria is represented by Google (Search and Context), Ligatus (PremiumNet contextual network), Etarget (contextual), and Plista (Contextual PPC).

The Bulgarian online market continues to grow at a rate of around 20-35% per year and even though the market is relatively consolidated on the side of the publisher, it is not on the side of the advertising. The infrastructure for advertisers is not standard, meaning that agencies tend to spend their money through an aggregator and not directly with the publishers. PPC in Bulgaria is represented by Google, Etarget, Facebook, Easy trader and Httpool, on top of these are also a few up and coming networks.

On the other hand in Hungary the online advertising market, with it’s overall growth of around of 7-15%, and a 16% share in total advertising spending, used over 100 Mil Eur on online spending in 2010. The local Hungarian PPC market is represented by Google (search), Etarget (context), Facebook (context) and CT Network (as a very minor context network). Estimated PPC market growth is in range 10-15%. Etarget is unquestionably the dominant contextual PPC network on the market.

Croatian online market is achieving bigger importance in the media and has a good mix of companies. The structure of the market has been become more standard in the past 2-3 years. Total online spending (according to IAB) was EUR 18,1 million in 2010. Growth of the market is expected to be around 15-25% in 2011. Google is the key search player and has a visible context network on the Croatian PPC market, while Etarget is a strong context PPC provider, Facebook is gaining ground and XClaim is the local intext PPC provider.

As for Serbia, well online advertising is still weak but rapidly growing around 30-40% over the past 4 years. The structure of the market has become a little more standard in terms of infrastructure. In the past 2-3 years major agencies have created digital departments, e-shops have become a standard distribution channel. The local IAB branch was created . The Serbian PPC market consists of Google ( search and partially context), Etarget (key context PPC player), Facebook (contextual PPC player), and Httpool (PPC and display player).

Romania’s online market has been subject to frequent changes on the media side (changing ownership, changing networks). But this will eventually lead to a more transparent structure which will be good for everyone in the long run. It is still a fast growing market, up in the 25-35% range regarding yearly online spending growth. The importance of standard media agencies is not so strong here as it is in other markets. The Romanian PPC market is populated by Google (key search player and partially context), Etarget (context PPC player), Facebook (growing contextual PPC player), Arbocontext (intextPPC) and few small single publisher solutions such as Neogen, Beyond interactive andTraficdublu.

As you can see the state of the PPC market in CEE is alive and well and doing very nicely. This is still a growing market and with at least 35 mil English speaking people buying online, it is without a doubt the potential market place for advertisers in the next couple of years. It is an ideal market for western EU e-shop’s to be displaying there goods.