Online advertising holds the future, but it is still one of the most neglected industry in Pakistan.

By Sayyed Shehzer Abbas

Online advertisement is also knowns as online marketing. It is a marketing strategy that uses internet as a tool for making products popular. Online advertisements help in building brand awareness and drives traffic to your site which could help in mass selling. It includes Web Sites, email, ads supported software, etc.

Internet was first introduced in Pakistan in 2005. It was a huge gain for the people working in the corporate sector as well as the homes at it was offered at much affordable rates. And along with the internet came the online advertisements. This was a really new field in which the companies were not ready to invest in. Television, billboards, newspaper, and radio were considered as the main media and the only way of advertising. But this was later changed as the internet spent some more time in the country. Companies took risk and invested in it as there was more audience on the internet to entertain. Each of the previous advertising media had some cons. Internet does have cons too but they are comparatively much lesser than the other types of media. Online advertisement is a mixture of all other types of advertisements as the person can view, read, and listen.

As the internet went famous, more brands invested in the online businesses. They made sure their online audience is also entertained very well. Up to date websites were their priorities as it was the only way of engaging with the audience.

As we have entered 2021, much more has changed than the past. Pakistan does have a low level of digital literacy and poor-quality networks. But with all these problems, there is still a hope as the country moves towards a digital future. The last survey in August 2020 suggested that almost 41% of Pakistan’s population has access to internet. This is equal to almost 87 million citizens of the country. Still as we think of 2005, this is a huge number that is currently accessing internet.

With the popularization of the online service spreading at a much faster rate, we also need to focus on its disadvantages.



Measurement problems

It is much difficult in online advertisements to calculate how many people are exactly engaged through the service. The site traffic, bounce rate, CPM, page value and all such sort of measuring tools are much complicated for an inexperienced user to understand.

Audience characteristics

Knowing the audience characteristics is one of the hardest things while online advertising. It answers the question that who is the target audience of the product. By learning about the audience characteristics, only those websites or products will be shown to that person in which he/she is interested in

Web snarl

It is the limitation of the traffic to visit a particular website because something is blocking the path to it. It may cause the person to leave the website as it will not be working properly. So eventually the product loses its subscriber as the user goes away.

Poor reach

There is a huge gap between the number of newspaper subscribers and the internet subscribers.  Internet has a much larger audience as compared to the other types of advertising media. But one should know that the product needs to be search engine optimized properly so the reach can be better. If not, then the product will fail to attract its potential customers.


But with all these disadvantages, there are quite a lot of advantages too which is why online advertising is much more appreciated.



International Audience

It is only because of the internet that worldwide commerce is now possible at an ease. Before the internet, the procedures were really hard but now the product can have a national audience as well as an international audience.

Low Cost

Online advertising is much more cost efficient. It does not require huge banners and posters to be printed. Nor does it require to pay to a specific radio or television channel for its coverage. Internet is simply the easiest and the most affordable way of promoting any product by learning basic online marketing tools.


Digitization helps with keeping the record of the product. That is the reason tracking is considered as one of the most important features of the internet.


Feedback is the most important part of running a business. It plays a vital role in letting the seller know of its services. It brings changes and improves the customer care services provided by the seller.


Concludingly, we can say that Pakistan might not be on the top of online advertisement industry right now. But as we have seen the efforts of government in moving towards a digital future, we can expect that those days are not far when E-commerce would be much more appreciated than the traditional commerce. The covid-19 pandemic has also proved that this is not too difficult as most of the brands were still running during lockdowns and did not experience any loses. Online advertising has been a neglected industry but in the past few years we have noticed one of the best e-commerce experiences like Daraz, Yayvo, Pakwheels, OLX, etc.