An increase in mobile opportunities, the death of the digital agency and targeted online display improvements are just three of 10 digital marketing trends Bruce Biegel discussed at a recent Direct Marketing Club of New York luncheon.
Biegel, managing director of the Winterberry Group, a New York City-based advertising and marketing strategic consulting firm, outlined the following 10 trends he suggests marketers and marketing suppliers stay on top of this year:
1. An acceleration of mobile opportunities. The growing adoption of smartphones and apps—combined with increased marketer and agency experience—will allow for more targeted and effective mobile marketing. "Even if you can't make money from mobile, you still have to keep an eye on it," Biegel said.
2. Local marketing dollars migrate online from traditional budgets. "As geo-targeting capabilities improve via search, display and mobile, we'll see more local advertising online," he said.
3. The rate of consumer social adoption slows. But, marketers "will increasingly understand how to use and manage social media," Biegel said, adding that they'll be doing more listening and monitoring of online conversations this year, as well as collecting data from these interactions to get a better view of their customers or prospects.
4. The death of the "digital" agency. This trend spurs the return of the full-service agency "that blurs the lines between traditional, direct and digital agencies," Biegel explained. "Since marketers think of their programs as integrated, they want to work with agencies that can work across all channels."
5. Consolidation will accelerate. Top-line growth will be driven through the purchasing of "good" companies.
6. Understanding the new data taxonomy. "This will be an imperative for all direct marketing constituencies," he emphasized. "The direct and digital words have to have a common language, a common taxonomy if they want to work together."
7. Audience targeting in online display will grow. "This trend will spur the shift of spend to the long tail of sites," he said, adding that as a result "ad exchange buying will grow."
8. Marketers and marketing agencies will seek new geographies for growth. As a result, globalization will become increasingly important. Marketers also will expect more from their marketing service providers. "They'll say, 'You need to be able to support me in another country, or I'll go somewhere else,'" Biegel said.
9. The economic recession is over. U.S. GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, he noted, dawning a very slow but steady jobless recovery.
10. Do-not-mail legislation no longer is a significant threat. Instead, the primary privacy and consumer control discussion, Biegel said, "has shifted to digital channels and vertical advertising."