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7 Top Internet Marketing Trends for 2011

Monday, 25 March 2013 16:52
Here are the seven top online marketing trends:
 
1. Social media marketing goes mainstream In 2010, corporate use of social media reached a tipping point. Companies will become more sophisticated in their social media marketing usage as they get more experienced. As part of this evolution, social media will extend throughout organizations, namely customer service.
 
Further, social media advertising will come into its own and yield relatively stronger results as happens with any new advertising platform. It's also largely attributable to the ability to tightly target audiences based on social media activity.

The one challenge to this progress will be Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon's high market valuations, potentially signaling a bubble.

 

2. Mobile hits its stride. While U.S. mobile expansion has been on everyone's list for many years, 2011 will be about being connected, showing up, and responding to customers' needs. Online marketers will require more than social media marketing. Further, an integrated approach is essential for achieving your goals. For marketers, this translates to ensuring that all facets of the marketing mix must work well together.

 

Internet marketing
Social Ad Network Spending Worldwide, 2009-2011 (billions and % change)

Source: eMarketer, July 2010

 

The one challenge to this progress will be Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon's high market valuations, potentially signaling a bubble.

 

2. Mobile hits its stride. While U.S. mobile expansion has been on everyone's list for many years, 2011 will pave the way for a number of important marketing changes. Fueled by high smartphone adoption that continues to expand and an increasing percentage of mobile-only households, the U.S. is poised for enhanced mobile marketing. Recent Nielsen data shows that 30 percent of cell phones are smartphones and BlackBerries account for about a quarter of smartphones.

 

Mobile marketing
Total U.S mobile market & Smartphone market (Source: The Nielsen Company)

 

Along with on-the-go consumption, e-mail remains the dominant mobile activity. Further, app users have downloaded an average of 27 apps.


Forrester forecasts that over 75 percent of marketers plan to include mobile in their marketing mix. Given mobile e-mail's strength and average app downloads, focus on mobile interactive extension to meet users needs on the go. Think bite-size consumption and mobile findability (aka search). As a result, location-based services (aka LBS) such as Foursquare with competition from giants like Facebook will continue to expand their reach.

3. Content marketing expands in new venues. Other forms of portable devices, namely e-readers and iPads, gain traction. Apple's iPad has sold 8.5 million units based on eMarketer's estimates.

 

While Amazon has sold 8 million* Kindles, its highest selling item to-date. This is good news for publishers who consider these devices paid content consumption nirvana. These devices require that marketers think about their target market's content consumption habits. Roughly two-thirds of consumers have paid for some form of online content according to Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. Among the dominant forms of paid content were digital music, software, cell phone and tablet apps, digital games, news articles or reports, and videos, movies, or television shows. But, before publishers run to the bank, they must assess the average $47 content spend carefully because the typical customer only spends $10!


4. Marketing goes real-time, not just watching issues for PR and potential fires. Marketers must be vigilant to take advantage of marketing opportunities while mitigating the impact of small fires (for example, Ford's use of social media to quell a PR fire). This requires a more flexible promotional and communications strategy. As a result, marketing needs to be agile because these events can't be planned six months in advance. Further, every firm must have a crisis management plan and vigilant monitoring.


5. Online retail continues to take market share from other channels. Christmas 2010 showed that consumers were willing to spend money, either due to pent up desire or as shopping therapy, despite the challenging financial outlook. Online holiday purchasing grew, taking share from brick-and-mortar retail, showing consumers' willingness to use and trust online payments. While a very small percentage of holidays sales, social shopping will continue to expand its influence due to its ability to target and reach consumers early in the decision phase. Also, group buying via Groupon and its competitors will continue to be a growing trend as long as marketers can make money from these promotions.


6. Integrated marketing comes of age.
As the big social media marketing campaigns of 2010, namely Pepsi Refresh and Old Spice, showed, integration across marketing platforms is a must! With expansion of social media marketing; mobile, e-reader, and offline marketing (remember, television still dominates!) all need to work together.


7. Metrics move into the spotlight for social media.
Just as you do for traditional forms of marketing, as social media matures and invests real budget and headcount, management will require justification for these dollars. To this end, better social media metrics and a clear pathway to ROI is needed. Related to this is improved social monitoring to aid tracking. Further, marketers must incorporate calls-to-action and promotions to aid tracking.


As you plan for 2011, use these seven online marketing trends to guide your marketing initiatives. Bear in mind that to hit your 2011 goals, you need to have metrics including those for your social media and mobile strategies that help you achieve your corporate mission.


Heidi Cohen

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KingBee Digital News & Event 7 Top Internet Marketing Trends for 2011