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Covario: Consumer Electronics Marketers Take Q4 Paid Search Boom Overseas

Holiday shopping for consumer electronics is starting earlier than ever in the Americas, according to new research released by Covario, a search marketing agency that works with large global clients such as Intel, Lenovo, Research In Motion and Adobe. Covario found that, among its tech and consumer electronics clients in the Americas, paid search spending only rose 1% in the fourth quarter of 2010, as compared to the third quarter, but that’s because growth from the second to the third quarter was 30%.

“It appears that consumers are lengthening and extending the definition of the holiday season,” said Craig Macdonald, CMO of Covario. “For our [tech and consumer electronics] clients, that means prime selling season starts at Labor Day, goes through back to school and continues on through the end of the year.”

Covario made the data available as part of its Q4 Global Spending Analysis, which aggregates data for its tech and consumer electronics clients, an area in which the agency specializes.

The fourth quarter story was a bit different in other parts of the world, with the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) seeing a 45% increase in Q4 over Q3 2010, and 117% over Q4’09. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), spending was up 7% in Q4 over Q3’10, and up by 31% from Q4’09.

In 2010 as a whole, Covario saw 68.3% of global advertising budgets go to the Americas. APAC and Japan represented 9% of spending, and EMEA accounted for 23% of spending.

Covario is recommending its clients allocate 15 to 20% more budget for 2011 to maintain the same results as they saw in 2010 — 10 to 14% more in the Americas, 25 to 30% more in EMEA, and 30 to 35% more in APAC.

The spending growth is coming overseas, Macdonald said, because, “in the Americas. a lot of advertisers believe that paid search is saturated. Incremental budget isn’t increasing sales in the same way that it used to.” In the emerging search markets, he said, there’s more potential return-on-investment for incremental spend.

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