In Kosovo, there used to be, and to some degree still is, a popular belief among the business community that if a company is marketing/advertising its products/services, it is doing so solely because it is stagnating on sales. Marketing, which is one of the key components towards a company’s profitability today, has been considered by some to be a negative trait to have.
The good news is that those beliefs are dying out with time. According to a study by KPM*, 67% of the businesses in Kosovo think that advertising plays a major role in the success of a company. That reveals in the known advertising expenditure in Kosovo which exceeds $10,000,000 annually. Moreover, the study finds that advertising in Kosovo is on an increasing trend. However, about 70% of this expenditure goes to traditional advertising channels: TV and Radio.
Online advertising holds only 3% of the overall advertising expenditure by businesses in Kosovo. Why is there lack of online advertising in Kosovo and why this is a great opportunity for marketers? Here are my 4 reasons:
The study by KPM shows what 68% of the businesses consider high prices as the main burden towards the advertisement of their products/services. I.e. they are willing to advertise, but the high prices make it tough to do so. On the other hand, about 95% of businesses agree that online advertising is cheaper or clearly cheaper than other common means of advertising such as TV, Radio, newspapers, etc. This shows that businesses would have had a higher engagement in advertising if the prices would have been cheaper, or there would be a cheaper solution – online advertising.
Positive attitudes on digitalization
Around 90% of businesses in Kosovo believe digitalization will have a positive impact on their advertising costs. In addition, half of them agree that digitalization will also improve the quality of advertising. This shows an enthusiasm that businesses in Kosovo have towards digitalization, expecting advertising prices to decrease and quality to improve.
High customer potential
On a recent post, I talk about the internet user penetration in Kosovo which is at least 77%. It is the highest rate in the region and is comparable to the rate of developed countries like UK, Switzerland, Germany, etc. If there are more than a million internet users in Kosovo and online advertising stands at only 3% expenditure, this only calls out for businesses and marketers to reach this potentially large customer base. A study by STIKK shows that half of the internet users in Kosovo are up to 30 years old. While half of the businesses target the age group 19-30 year-olds, there is clear customer potential.
A need for professionals
While most of the businesses in Kosovo agree that online advertising is much cheaper than other common means of advertising, they are lacking engagement in it. Some of the businesses put the blame on the lack of professionals in this field in Kosovo, while Internet mediums stand on a shared opinion that the main reason companies in Kosovo struggle to advertise online is the lack of professional skills from advertising agencies to meet their requests.
To wrap up, this is a decent opportunity for marketers in Kosovo. Digital marketing services can easily â€œclickâ€ because there are a lot of Kosovars online, and that is the key factor. Moreover, most of the businesses in Kosovo are willing to engage with online/digital marketing tools if professionals/agencies have the capabilities to provide them with such services. Online marketing services seem to have a vague presence in Kosovo, soâ€¦ marketers, what are you waiting for?!
*All the statistics in this article are based on the study by KPM –Advertising Market Research and Analysis in Kosovo, 2013, unless otherwise cited.