United States and China are keeping the lead in the global Internet market, no matter in terms of numbers of Internet users, country users/worldwide users ratio, and so on. However, when it comes to the growth of Internet and online advertising market, emerging countries like Russia and Turkey experiences the highest growth rate and draws more attention from worldwide marketers.
If you are interested in the Turkish online advertising market and launching multicultural/global marketing campaigns in Turkey, then this article would be a valuable read and guide for how to launch marketing campaigns strategically in Turkey and benefit from the Turkish market explosive growth.
Online Advertising Market in Turkey
Turkey has a population of around 80 million in 2012, while around 45.7% Turkish people use Internet (36.5 million, Internet World Stats), which consists of 1.5% worldwide Internet users. The growth of Internet market in Turkey is astonishing, reaching 29.6% growth rate in 2010 and it still remains more than 20% annual growth rate. According to the statistics, the Turkish E-Commerce market is worth $ 10 billion with 57% growth in revenue in 2011 and continues to develop strongly, while the online advertising market in Turkey is worth $ 250 million.
In Turkey, the advertising and online market is still booming and there are no signs it is slowing down anytime soon. Although Turkey still takes a smaller portion of the total European online advertising market now, it could be just a matter of time before it catches up with the other developed bigger markets in Europe by maintaining the current high growth rate.
Unique mainstream targeting audiences
Most of the Turkish Internet users are living in the big citieslike Istanbul and are very young. One interesting issue about the Turkish Internet market is that more than 70% of the Internet users in Turkey are between 16 and 34 years old. (Nokta Internet Technologies, 2008).
As a result, the online market in Turkey is very adaptive with new trends, new technologies and challenges. Young Turkish people develop, adopt fresh ideas and seek new trends, pushing the online market in Turkey to grow even further. Nowadays many young Istanbul Turkish people equip themselves with the latest smart phones, stylish clothes and their new perspective towards the world. Unlike many other European and Asian countries, there are no traditional media history (TV, print media) or strings that hold back the development of online advertising market in Turkey. Up-to-date technology enables Turkey exceed many other countries in the development of online market and evolve as an online trend setter.
Top 3 Turkish Online Market Trends
No.1: Mobile & Social Media
As you may know, Turkey's mobile market is one of the largest in Europe with fairly high penetration rate due to its sizable population. In 2012, there were around 67 million mobile subscribers, with the majority of subscribers (40 million) on 3G services (BTK data). The vast mobile users base makes the rapid development of mobile online advertising market in future possible.
Turkish Internet users are interested in news portals, social media and content services. According to the statistics, Turkey ranks as No.1 on the highest social media usages through mobile Internet, which is a natural result for a market that's being dominated by the youth. 92% of Turkish Internet users (more than 30 million) have used Facebook. Besides social networking,video sharing through the social media portals and social shopping are very popular in Turkey. These are the areas that have the highest rates of online advertising activity.
No.2: E-Commerce market
E-Commerce accounts a large share of online market and online advertising market in Turkey. With high penetration of broadband Internet and increased income level, Turkey?s E-Commerce market is set to grow astonishingly. Supported by a youthful and tech-savvy population, the E-commerce market in Turkey has expanded rapidly, hitting $ 12.7 billion in 2011 with a growth rate of more than 50 percent over 2010. At present there are over 10,000 e-commerce companies operating in Turkey and Turkish E-Commerce start-ups have attracted approximate $ 750 million of foreign investment in the last two years.
Based on the latest data from ETICAD, currently only 4 % of Turkey's Internet users do online purchasing. Over the next three years, this rate is expected to reach 25 % within a short period of time and the e-commerce volume is expected to hit around USD 140 billion. Based on the above data and proper assumption, the online advertising market would develop rapidly along with the expansion of E-Commerce market in Turkey, especially for display and search ads.
No.3 Online Gaming Market
When discussing the Turkish online market, it is needed to mention about the online gaming market in Turkey. According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global market for online video games is around $15 billion annually and it continues growing with an annual growth rate of nearly 40 percent, while Turkey is one of the fastest growing markets in the world for online games and it is also the third-largest market for Free2Play games. Some leading gaming companies like PEAK already develop and publish online games that are culturally targeted at Turkish people.
According to the statistics from Turkish National Gamers Survey in 2012, there are more than 21 million online active gamers in Turkey, which is around 28% of the total population in Turkey, while 52% of those gamers spend money on games. Based on a recent research, nearly 25% of the total online time is spent on playing Console games and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games for Turkish people. With the support of large base of online gamers and large quantities of hours spending on online gaming, it is not difficult to visualize the huge potential of the online gaming advertising market in future, not only for display ads on online gaming sites, but also for in-game advertising.
Moreover, since Facebook dominates the social media market in Turkey, it leads the social gaming market in Turkey as well, which attracts almost 78% online gamers to use in Turkey. Therefore, if advertisers would target their audiences with the preference of online games, Facebook shouldn't be neglected when launching online advertising campaigns in Turkey.
Top Online Advertising Strategies in Turkey
First of all, language plays a key role in multicultural marketing, so does launching online advertising campaigns in Turkey. Since around 80 million people in Turkey are Turkish speakers and many of them don't speak English or other languages, plus more than 2 million Turkish speakers in many other countries, using Turkish language in online advertising campaigns would greatly improve the result when reaching the Turkish audiences globally. What's more, since Google is the most popular search engine in Turkey, advertisers should include those Turkish keywords as well in their list when launching search campaigns to optimize their sites and increase traffics.
Moreover, Turkey is mixture of the western and eastern world, blinding with different religions and cultures. In Turkey, where the majority of the population is Muslim, Islam has been always an important symbolic system forming the cultural basis for the Turkish community. Therefore, in order to launch online advertising campaigns in Turkey successfully, it is vital to remain neutral in social values and avoid using sexual appeal or anything against muslim culture in its messages.
Furthermore, Facebook is still the No.1 in the social media market in Turkey. Although Facebook has already lose its market share to Twitter, StumbleUpon and other new social media, it maintains an extremely strong market share of social media traffic, weighing in at 90.71%, while Twitter comes in at 4.53% and no stronger players in the Turkish social media market. Advertisers can easily find their targeted Turkish people with specific requirements and distribute Ads to them through Facebook, especially after FBX (Facebook Ad Exchange) has been launched.
Last, it is important for marketers to keep in mind the Turkish multicultural holidays like Ramadan/Bayram, and launching multicultural marketing campaigns during these holidays would usually achieve better result than usual, since people tend to shop more and have more time to stay at home and surf on the internet during the holiday period.