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By Alan Coleman on 5 May 2016

The European Search Awards took place in the shadow of the Arc De Triomphe in Salle Wagram, Paris on May 6th 2016. There were 380 entries to the awards and 400 attendees from across the continent. Irish digital marketing agencies emerged victorious taking four trophies home to Dublin, including one of the headline awards.

Wolfgang Digital triumphed in the categories “Best Use of Search for Retail”, and “Best Integration of Search and Social”, before going on to win the headline trophy “Best Small PPC Agency”. This coveted prize is awarded to the best agency Europe-wide with 25 or less employees.

Core Media's Mediaworks won the “The Best Use of Search – Third Sector” category for their work with Irish Charity Trocaire.

Euro 2016 Leaderboard

The trophy leaderboard for the European Search Awards 2016 looks like this:

It’s no suprise that the UK, the most evolved digital media market in the world, is dominating the the awards table.
What will raise eyebrows across Europe is Ireland’s position at second place on the table, with double the trophies of the powerhouse that is Germany and quadruple those of major markets France and Spain.
This impressive European Search Awards haul for the Irish is no flash in the pan. In 2015, Ireland were also in second spot with a three trophy haul.

European league table

Wolfgang Digital won the award for “Best Search – Third Sector” as well as the headline “Grand Prix” prize, while another independent Irish agency In the Company of Huskies took home the award for “Best Use of PR with Search.”

Former US Search Personality of the Year and judge of both European and US Search Awards, Marty Weintraub, had this to say about the 2016 entries:

“Europeans are especially strong in creative content, even pioneering vibrant content-tech to light up crazy cool PR mashup content campaigns. Europeans build best-in-class SEO-tech and evolutionary adtech tools at the agency level. In short, some of the most innovative marketers today hail from Europe.”

It’s not just on the awards front that Irish digital marketers are punching above their weight internationally.

Also in May, the IAB announced that Ireland is officially the fastest growing digital advertising market in Europe growing at 29% in 2015. This is more than double the European average of 13% growth. So are we growing fast because we coming from a lower base than more mature markets? No, quite the opposite in fact. Globally digital represents just under 30% of ad spend (eMarketer). In Ireland it is currently estimated to represent 41% (combining IAB digital figures with Core Media market figures). Another indication of the maturity of the Irish digital advertising market is that digital ad spend has overtaken TV ad spend as advertisers' favourite channel.

In addition, sources in Google indicate that Ireland is the fastest growing Google AdWords market in Europe.

Hunger for Knowledge

Also in May, Digital Marketing Conference 3XE attracted 550 Irish Digital marketers to Croke Park. This is a very impressive number and measures up to the 500-550 attendee figures at longstanding conferences such as SMX London, PPC Hero Philadelphia and OMCAP Berlin who draw international attendees on top of their sizeable domestic audiences. These Irish figures serve as further evidence of the vibrancy of the sector as large numbers of digital marketers clamour to learn.

All in all, May 2016 was a dramatic demonstration of the strength of the Irish digital marketing sector. The hunger for progress and the appetite for investment and international recognition is clearly evident on Irish shores.

It’s important to note that the strength of the sector runs deeper than the much-vaunted multinationals. Yes, we have the Googles and Facebooks based here, but the events discusssed above indicate our indigenous digital media sector is roaring right now and that roar is being heard around the world.




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