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Bigmouthmedia's predictions for 2010

Bigmouthmedia's predictions for 2010

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Published by bigmouthmedia
What's going to happen in the world of digital marketing in 2010? Some of bigmouthmedia's digital experts have stuck their necks out and made some predictions.
What's going to happen in the world of digital marketing in 2010? Some of bigmouthmedia's digital experts have stuck their necks out and made some predictions.

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Published by: bigmouthmedia on Dec 17, 2009
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09/06/2010

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2010: The Year Ahead in Digital Marketing
Executive Summary
Bigmouthmedia predicts that 2010 will be a pivotal year for the digital marketing industry, with mobile and socialmedia playing a significant role in a series of developments set to sweep through the sector.
 
Bigmouthmedia’s analysts believe that an evolving search landscape, the continued rise of social media andadvances in mobile technology will combine to make the next year one of the most eventful in the sector’shistory. With these and other factors blurring the boundaries between PR, marketing and customer care, thecompany also predicts that the shape of the search business itself will begin to change.“Digital marketing has always been a dynamic industry, but the introduction of real time search, the continuedconvergence of devices and the apparently unstoppable rise of social media have all come together at the sametime, and we expect this to have a major impact upon the search landscape in 2010,” said Andrew Girdwood,bigmouthmedia’s Head of Search.“The industry has matured, and already we are seeing some of the more prehistoric SEO business models outthere beginning to fail. Major clients increasingly require partners with international scale, and as the downwardspressure on costs continues, small-scale agencies are going to struggle to cope in what is likely to become anenvironment dominated by a handful of major players.”Bigmouthmedia’s sector-by-sector predictions for the year ahead indicate that the digital marketing businesscould be facing one of the most challenging years in its history.Retailers are expected to continue investing in social media strategies designed to monetise direct marketingchannels like Twitter and Facebook while simultaneously expanding their mobile marketing activities.In the travel business, operators seeking to offset a fall in revenues caused by the global recession willincreasingly look online. Some 57% of travel marketing budgets will be spent online in 2010, while the majority of companies are also predicted to increase spend on Social Media & Online PR and Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) as they attempt to come to terms with this evolving channel.In the world of finance, the advent of the widely predicted new supermarket banking services look set todominate the sector’s year. A scramble has already begun, meanwhile, to win over the significant increase inconsumers expected to return online and begin shopping for services again in 2010.“The search marketing business has weathered the economic downturn better than most, but there is no roomfor complacency. For every one of the opportunities these new developments bring there are technical andlogistical challenges to be overcome,” said Girdwood.
 
2010: The Year Ahead in Digital MarketingPage 2 of 9
 
Copyright bigmouthmedia 2009
The search landscape in flux
 
2010 is going to be a busy year. The digital marketing industry has entered a period of pivotal change, and as aseries of economic, technological and cultural factors come into play we can expect a series of significantdevelopments to make an impact on the marketplace over the coming 12 months.First and foremost amongst the factors shaping the industry over the months ahead will be the continued rise of mobile marketing. Annual predictions to the effect that next year will be the Year of the Mobile have become arunning joke in the industry, but a proliferation of workable devices such as the iPhone and Google’s Android andthe increased availability of mobile internet means that 2010 could finally be the year that mobile takes off. The internet is getting much closer to all of us as mobile handsets become increasingly powerful computers andpowerful computers become increasingly handset-sized. There has been a significant growth in the ‘always-on’culture and also the ease at which people can access data. As a result, all business need to be more aware thanever that their competitors are only a click away.High street retailers, for example, will need to be aware that in 2010 it’ll be much easier for a potential customerto do a quick price check of an item immediately prior to buying and that a much a greater percentage of customers will be aware they can quickly compare costs before they make a purchase.Hand-in-hand with proliferating mobile use will be a corresponding rise in interest in mobile search optimisation. There are plenty of major brand sites that perform well enough in web search but poorly in mobile search andequally, there will be brands who invested in old technology WAP sites that will simply be ignored by the 2010generation of mobile devices.Google is at the forefront of making sure sites designed for the web will work well on mobile devices. In 2009we’ve seen Google promote a number of tools for designers to help increase the speed of websites, help test thespeed of websites and even lay out explicit rewards for quick sites as well as the occasional poke in the eye forslow ones, and the Mountain View giant is likely to continue with this theme in the year ahead.Speed is important when it comes to mobile marketing, as users will avoid accessing the internet on mobiledevices if the experience isn’t a good one. Struggling with a GPRS or flaky 3G connection is a headache, and sitesthat can render themselves quickly over the slower mobile speeds will be more popular. The actual pace at which a website loads is only one half of 2010’s big speed battle. The unstoppable growth of social media and real-time search also puts the focus on agencies’ and brands’ ability to act quickly, and brandsthat took a few days to respond to news with a press release in 2009 will find that that’s far to slow in 2010. The benefit of being able to react quickly is magnified by the search engines integrating more closely with thesocial leaders like Facebook and Twitter. Conversations happen in real time, while Twitter debates are sparked bynews reports, TV ads, comments on websites or on the radio. These discussions can now be catapulted to the topof Google, and brands suffering from negative commentary will have to join in an offer their point of view withinthat real-time window of opportunity. The transitory nature of the real-time integration and reactions will also present a challenge to bid managementsystems and analytics in 2010. Is a bid management system that checks the search landscape twice a day toadjust bids going to be able to cope with the massive changes in user behaviour (and therefore CTR orconversion rates) that a real-time stream will cause? How can a bid management system cope with a searchlandscape personalised by social circles? In 2010 your PPC ad may appear beside negative commentary for onegroup of searchers and appear beside positive commentary for another.Equally, traditional web analytics will be able to show what happened on any given day -including surges of traffic for any given keyword - but may now struggle to show why it happened. In the speedy world of real-timeand social search the web results which drive significant traffic and conversions may come and go before someanalytic platforms update their reports.
 
2010: The Year Ahead in Digital MarketingPage 3 of 9
 
Copyright bigmouthmedia 2009
Despite the challenges the analytic providers will face in 2010 there will be a growing demand for analytics,particularly packages that can track across the digital disciplines and audit the full user experience. Searchmarketers have seen the value in looking at the full path analysis when it comes to analytics, because aconversion isn’t always (or often) the result of a single click. Generic terms lead to brand searches and vice versa,so in 2010 agencies and brands will have to dig deeper and more thoroughly into this sort of data to improvetheir digital marketing.Marketing departments will be extremely busy. As social media and real-time search continues to grow inpopularity and importance marketing teams will find the need to cope with these aspects of digital will alsoexpand, and while traditionally some aspects of social and real-time reactions might have fallen under thepurview of PR teams or even customer care teams, it will be increasingly hard to spot the distinction in 2010.An unhappy and vocal customer on an influential blog is a marketing issue, a PR issue and a customer care issueat the same time. Customer care departments are already just a heartbeat away from becoming social media-meets-public relations teams, and 2010 will see marketing and PR teams fighting each other for budget andcontrol.Some SEO companies may also be fighting for influence in 2010 as the search world evolves and some SEOpractises that have remained unchanged for years will finally be consigned to the grave. The rise of personalisedsearch, for example, brings the concept of ‘keyword portfolios’ to natural search and reduces the emphasis onsingle keyword rankings.Some SEO companies may still make much of their profit by forcing the risky practise of buying links onto clients,but as the rewards for such risks reduce and the chances of being caught increase many would-be-clients willpush back against these companies. Similarly, agencies that only offer advice on meta descriptions, heading andtitle tags will discover that this has become a well known practice and will be under pressure to evolve or die.Some PPC agencies may also have to take a good long look at their business models. This year saw an increase inagencies (often working on ‘pure’ CPA deals) working hard to conceal their margins from their clients. Typically,the way this worked was for the agency to allow their client access to the keyword bids through an interface of their own design but to program that interface to include the agency’s margin/profit on those keyword costs.Although this is better than the 2008 habit of not letting clients see the keyword lists at all, the end result is thatbrands are paying for a service and still not getting transparency. Consequentially, it seems unlikely these shadypractises will survive through 2010 as the trick becomes more widely known to increasingly savvy advertisers.
Andrew GirdwoodHead of Search 

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