Online marketing is facing unprecedented change, brought on by a volatile economy, the meteoric rise of new channels, and the increased demand for financial accountability. Unica, a worldwide marketing solutions provider, surveyed 155 marketers about online marketing technology usage and plans. The data revealed 10 key online marketing trends for 2010:
1. Marketing Budgets and Focus Continue to Swing Online
Online channels are lower cost and more measurable, and as a result continue to cannibalize traditional media. 84% of marketers said it is important for their organization to shift their marketing focus to more online.
2. Marketers Work Harder to Keep Email Relevant
92% of marketers are using or planning to use email marketing this year – making it the most widely adopted marketing tactic. With email adoption pervasive and consumers’ inboxes increasingly crowded, marketers will work hard to stay
relevant. To do this, marketers must not only create compelling campaigns, but also have a stronger focus on analysis and management of inbox placement, content rendering, and reputation management of their digital communications..
3. Search Continues as an Online Marketing MainStay, but Complexity Grows
There are no signs that consumers will stop using search engines as their primary vehicle to find products and services. Search marketers are starting to take notice of search engines other than Google. Not only does Bing’s growth look promising in the US, but global markets already have strongly entrenched local players like China’s Baidu and Russia’s Yandex.
4. Marketers Expand Targeting and Personalization on Their Websites.
Expect more personalization in websites in 2010. 55% of marketers are already using targeting and personalization on their site, and another 21% will roll it out this year. This personalization will grow more sophisticated as well, as marketers target “anonymous” visitors based on referring URL, search terms, geo-location and other insights. Marketers will also extend email segments, offers and messages to websites, to better match customers with marketing messages. Landing pages and website optimization will complement site personalization to start delivering superior results.
5. Proliferation and Adoption of Other Online Channels Persist
Marketers are faced with a dizzying array of new channels – mobile, rich media, social media, and more. Success is hit-or-miss, and campaigns are not well integrated with other marketing efforts. Despite these challenges, the opportunity to efficiently and effectively reach and engage customers is undeniable, and marketers continue to experiment, test, and adopt emerging channels. In fact, a very high proportion (84%) plans to use emerging marketing channels over the next year.
6. Mobile Continues Its March Toward Greater Significance
Interest in mobile marketing has exploded, driven by the tremendous success of and media buzz around Apple’s iPhone and Google’s introduction of Android. As smartphone adoption grows, mobile marketing will expand beyond mobile messaging, and make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications viable channels in which to conduct marketing. In fact, over one third of marketers (36%) are already conducting some type of mobile marketing, and adoption will increase with an additional 40% of marketers indicating plans to incorporate mobile marketing. The combination of new devices, faster networks and new location-aware technology, will fuel this steady march toward greater significance.
7. Marketers Continue to Nurture Social Media
Sites like Facebook and Twitter have had a meteoric rise from obscurity. Marketers find themselves thrust into a world where they have to share control over their brand with consumers. Blogs, product reviews, and other social mediaare mixed with marketing messages to shape consumers’ perception of company brands. As companies pinpoint the specific social tactics that work best to engage their customers, they will expand their social media participation and continue to nurture a wide variety of social media tactics. Today, roughly half of marketers (47%) are already using social media for marketing. Almost another quarter (23%) plan to use it this year.
8. Web Analytics Unifies Online Data across Channels
Web analytics focuses on integrating customer data from the web, search, mobile,
and social measurement. 88% of marketers are already using or planning to use web analytics this year. The penetration and presence of web analytics make it the logical point to integrate customers’ profiles across multiple online channels.
9. IT Bottlenecks Drive Adoption of On Demand Marketing Solutions
67% of marketers complained about IT’s support for marketing’s technology needs.
Marketers identified this as the number onetechnology bottleneck. Therefore, in order to deliver on the promise of these new channels and integrated marketing analytic and execution, marketing solutions will be adopted on demand.
10. Online Marketing Suites Bridge the Gap between Analysis and Action
The multitude of online channels is leaving marketers adrift in a sea of data. Web analytics tools are helping marketers measure performance across a multitude of online channels, but converting this into actionable advice remains challenging. 94% of marketers said turning data into action is a key problem, ranking this issue higher than all others.
How is your organization doing with the 10 key online trends? If you would like some help with this, call our office at 804-968-5131 to see if we can be of some assistance.