Marketing trends in the year 2009 are already underway and set to grow in incredible and creative ways. From recession damage control to better, speedier customer service, online marketing trends indicate a strong concern with the consumer market and its current needs. Below, we take a look at online marketing trends on the go at the moment and to be expected in the near future.
Advertising on the web has taken the world by storm and continues to grow in mighty ways, effectively encouraging the vast consumer market worldwide to indulge and purchase products and services on offer and continue to return for more. Online marketing is an interactive means that opens the broader public up to “bigger and better” customer service and products. During the course of 2009 and further into the future, online marketing strategies across the world are bound to be as challenging as they are exciting.
Top Current & Future Trends In Online Marketing
- Marketing During The Recession
At present the world at large is hard at work finding solutions to the economic crisis that has caused much discomfort to many countries, some more so than others. Online marketing is already cleverly producing messages that appeal to the vast majority, especially those affected by the recession. Recession marketing is already seeing offers that sing the tune of “saving you money” and is expected to linger throughout the duration of the year. Online marketing now has to get creative and stretch a country’s currency, offering the public more for less. A surge of creativity is expected to flow into the online marketing industry with a strongly competitive nature. The trick with this will be getting the message to come across in a unique and distinctive way.
- The Rise Of The Small Business
Small businesses have been gradually becoming more and more involved with online media marketing tools. This trend will continue as this medium of marketing is by far more cost effective than traditional means. Marketing tools set to be used a lot more in the near future include email marketing, pay per click (PPC) advertising and social networking. Small businesses will increase investment opportunities in websites, microsites and custom landing pages.
- The Customer Voice
Customer demand largely dictates their own needs and wants when it comes to products and services. It is therefore essential for online marketers to ensure that their target audience has a distinctive voice within their campaigns. The risk is that if customers do not feel that they have this voice, they will seek out alternatives. Tools already being used and a trend set to continue include forums and feedback forms.
- Video Marketing
Studies have proved that by adding a video to a website, traffic to it increases substantially. Online videos are already a popular trend that is expected to grow enormously in the very near future. Video marketing must, however, be relevant and useful to the audience being targeted or it’ll surely be a waste. Interactive video technology is the trend being explored at present offering users the opportunity to click on a variety of differently designed elements within a video that is related to content, microsites, shopping carts etc.
Blogging is incredibly popular across the world and will continue to grow in its success in the near future. Blogging offers the public a voice that is not plagued with too many restrictions. Small businesses in particular are expected to make use of this highly effective online marketing tool in strong ways.
- Social Marketing
Social media and social networking websites (e.g. Facebook) have taken the world by storm and continue to increase in popularity. It is for this reason that social marketing as a trend is well on its way to new heights. Small businesses are set to embrace the versatile trend of online social marketing in the near future in growing numbers with the aim of better targeting their audience and achieving more success where return on investment (ROI) is concerned.
- Mobile Marketing
Digital mobile devices such as the iPhone and other similar types are opening up the consumer public to convenient online opportunities. Access to email and the internet is growing in their numbers across the world as a feature on mobile phone devices with better technology being developed with each model launched. Mobile marketing is thus the very next step and a trend expected to really take off and continue to grow in the near future. The trend is set to infiltrate businesses such as restaurants and movie theatres a great deal more.
- Behavioural Targeting & Analytics
Online advertising is expected to become very much behaviourally based whereby more advertising networks will generate more dynamic images and messages based on internet behaviour. As a result web analytics will follow suit and not only measure which pages online users are visiting but why they do so.
- Widgets (interactive web applications)
Widgets are a cost effect means of ensuring that a targeted audience is drawn back to a website and spending more time with a particular brand on a more ongoing basis. Widget marketing trends that can be expected will have the effect of saving a user’s time, helping them to get things done and providing useful information.
- Getting Back To Basics
Another trend for the near future involves a “back to basics” approach that targets how best to provide customers with effective solutions. Online marketing messages look to be moving in this direction whereby advertisers will remove the “fluff” (non relevant information) and get straight to the point.
- Relationship – Building
Relationship building models are fast becoming a popular trend expected to grow in profitable ways. With the economic crisis very much prevalent at the moment, recruiting new customers is not necessarily a primary aim in an online marketing campaign. Building trust and long term relationships with existing customers is, however, a trend that marketers will make more use of during the recession period. The goal is to “thrill” existing customers and keep them coming back for more.
Verticalisation is set to become a strong online marketing trend whereby advertisers will make use of online mediums that target their specific audience. For example a shoe designer or retailer looking to advertise will make use of ShoeTube.tv instead of YouTube.com. Verticalisation essentially means that marketers will hone in on delivering a specific message directly to a very specific target audience.
- Multicultural Marketing
The world is made up of an enormous amount of different cultures and societies. This in itself is a sea of opportunity for online marketers to explore and is set to become a substantially profitable trend. Online marketers are thinking global and working to uncover brand new audiences whilst appealing simultaneously to different cultures. Small businesses, in particular, are expected to hone in on this trend and make it gold.
- Combining Display Ads & Search Marketing
Although already a trend in place, mixing online display advertisements with PPC marketing within online marketing campaigns is expected to grow in popularity. Website traffic already, more often than not, doubles using this means of advertising. Conversions (users visiting a website becoming customers purchasing a service or product) also already significantly increases as well. The opportunity for a profitable ROI is too good to pass up with this trend and will continue to move forward achieving bigger and better results.
- Home – Based Online Businesses
“Retrenchment” has become something that is commonly heard almost daily across the world. With growing numbers of unemployed individuals, the creation of home-based businesses is set to increase greatly, beginning a trend of brand new entrepreneurs.
The consumer market demands much from advertising in the way of “new and improved” and “bigger and better” technological advancements. Online marketing simply just has to keep up the pace and, more importantly, deliver these expected results. The demand for businesses to respond to customers and their enquiries is essential to be done quickly. Websites must meet these demands daily and efficiently if they desire keeping their customers and not losing them to competitors. Small businesses will most certainly join the masses of major online media companies and provide services that are speedy and pleasingly so to their targeted customers.
- Other Online Marketing Trends To Expect
- Keyword inflation (CPC: cost per click) – improving the effectiveness and measurability of advertising to a level that is more acute. This will be important when considering that more of an online marketing campaign’s budget will be largely put towards digital technology. The risk is that the market will become increasingly crowded. The benefits are, however, increasingly profitable and thus the trend of keyword inflation will continue to grow.
- CPA (cost per action or acquisition) buying – this digital advertising buying model is expected to become a lot more widely negotiated. As it is major online advertisers are already budgeting and spending more than 50% of campaign budgets on CPA media. During this time of recession, the focus is more so on getting a direct response from consumers than using a campaign for brand name purposes. Negotiations are set to move toward improving a company’s ROI by requesting the best possible CPA deal terms available.
- Data Privacy and security – security is a major factor and constantly requires a watchful eye and updates. Privacy and safety is set to become more PR related when marketing online. Customers not only desire privacy and safety but demand it heavily. Online marketers will thus ensure that data is able to avoid being breached, stolen or lost as this can lose customers.
- RSS (really simple syndication) newsfeeds – is a trend that is set to go main stream. RSS offers inline marketers 100% deliverability and provides variety to the consumer in receiving them exactly as they desire to (e.g. specific topics only by email subscription etc).
During a time of economic hardship across the world, recession conditions have developed a pathway for trends to develop that seemingly lean towards the underdog. Small businesses are jumping onto the bandwagon of successful technology already being used and adapting the trends to steadily increase ROI opportunities with the hope of long term success. Trends are customer orientated and link directly with business survival. It seems we are all simply trying to stand tall on our own two feet and achieve success through a variety of different avenues by using innovative and creative trend techniques. Online marketing is a massive market that has positive and prosperous results, welcomed with open arms by the consumer market. Options are seemingly endless with minimum restrictions. Future trends seemingly reflect this and are set to achieve more than satisfactory results.