Only two weeks are left until 2011.
It is that time of the year when we’re making predictions and expressing our expectations for the year to come.
In an effort to find out what other digital marketers expect 2011 to bring, I have reached out to a number of them, and received a truly overwhelming response. I originally planned to cover affiliate marketing only, but since many of the predictions relate to the overall digital space, I’ve decided to put together two posts: one on online marketing and Internet overall, and another one specifically on affiliate marketing.
Below you may find the 2011 predictions for digital marketing:
2011 Predictions for Online Marketing
- Facebook will go public
- Apple stock will hit $430
- Webinar events will take over the product launch
–John Chow of John Chow dot com
- Continued mergers / acquisitions / investments
- Increased advertiser spending on performance marketing channel
- Market frenzy over local coupons and deals
–Adam Viener of Imwave, Inc.
- Mobile and local is going to go crazy, but it will be dominated by Google, Apple and Groupon. Everyone else will be fighting over 10% of the marketshare. But local is huuuge, so 10% is still a massive opportunity.
–Chris Trayhorn of Revenue Performance
- 2011 will be the year of online coupons! With the massive growth of Groupon and the $6 billion evaluation/buyout offer, everyone is going to want to have their own coupon site.
- Fiverr.com will be acquired… then some of it’s competitor mirror sites sites will follow.
- Yahoo or Microsoft will make a $5+ billion purchase at another attempt to compete with Google and social networks… but will still find themselves lagging behind.
–Zac Johnson of ZacJohnson.com
- In the wake of Wikileaks, the government, via the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will attempt to impose unconstitutional and burdensome regulations on the Internet (and ultimately affiliate marketing) in the name of fairness, consumer safety, and national security.
- Online privacy concerns will increase with a growing number of consumers opting out of behavior-tracking services and/or paying for private alternatives to ad-supported services.
- Competition and efficiency will push more transactions online as worldwide commodity prices rise and inflationary pressures mount due to the negative effects of Fed monetary policy.
–Mike Allen of Shopping-Bargains.com
- Content / Engagement Strategy — We all know that “Content is King” was the mantra through the 1990s and then “Context was Queen”. Today we realise that exceptional content is the key to acquiring customers through search engine optimisation and social media as part of inbound marketing. It’s also essential to keep customers engaged with a brand via different touchpoints like the website, “social outposts”, email marketing and apps. And of course, it’s not just text content, video content, podcasts, apps all to match all preferences. It’s been good to see increased attention on content strategy in 2010 with several new books on the topic. Since I believe it’s so important to success online, that’s why it’s Number 1.
Takeaway: Develop and refine your content strategy to compete effectively in your category.
- Digital Marketing Optimisation — In the beginning there was search engine optimisation, then conversion rate optimisation and social media optimisation (hate that term). The analytical tools available to digital marketers enable analysis and optimisation of performance as provided by many agencies in these fields. Integration of toolsets through APIs and XML feeds has supported the growth of a rich set of free and paid tools. See the Google Analytics Application Gallery for the wealth of tools available.
Takeway: Put in place processes and resources to support optimisation. Harness the free and paid tools to support analysis and automation.
- Right Touching — Our prospects and customers increasingly use multiple channels when selecting products and services switching between digital media and traditional media. So it’s important to understand their preferences and facilitate switching from print to online and vice versa. Since outbound contacts are still vital in selecting the right print or email message frequency and message according to position in the lifecycle helps repeat sales. Smart companies have developed an automated email lifecycle with the right business rules to maximise engagement and sale.
Takeaway: Refine and automate your contact strategies to support right touching requires investment in integrated contact strategies project upfront which is why many haven’t implemented yet.
–Dr Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights
Thanks go to all of the above marketers for their participation in putting together this list of trends and predictions for 2011.
If you’re reading this and are thinking of a trend (or have an expectation of something) that hasn’t been mentioned yet, I would highly appreciate you contributing your thoughts in the “Comments” are below. Many thanks in advance, and here’s to a fruitful and prosperous 2011!!