Much Promise Amidst Malaise
It's been a great year, at least in terms of Internet marketing.
This year we've seen many trends that have evolved into genuine marketing opportunities.
Consider Facebook. While the year started with a thud for the social networking site — it was criticized in late 2007 for collecting more user information for advertisers than it had previously stated — it has become a go-to social site, if not, the go-to site.
In fact, according to an April 2008 comScore report, Facebook is the leading social networking site based on monthly unique visitors, having overtaken primary competitor MySpace. In grander scheme of things, advertising on social networking sites has become commonplace.
E-mail marketing also has grown more sophisticated this year, with more marketers paying serious attention to segmentation targeting.
Mobile marketing and advertising also made major strides toward maturity in 2008. In fact, an April 2008 eMarketer report found that the U.S. is the largest single market for mobile advertising, even though it lags both Europe and Asia in terms of mobile penetration. eMarketer also estimated the total U.S. market for mobile advertising will reach $6.5 billion by 2012.
But what does the future hold for Internet marketing in 2009? What will marketers be talking about and acting on?
Look for mobile marketing, all forms of search, social media marketing and enhanced e-mail marketing to continue to make great strides next year.
Internet marketing as it affects most industries will continue to grow in 2009 and beyond.
Just look at the statistics. The Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released by the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year, found that U.S. Internet advertising revenues for the first six months of 2008 were $11.5 billion, a 15.2 percent increase over the first half of 2007. Search and display-related advertising also continued to set records, according to the report.
But regardless of cool tools and technologies, in 2009 you're still going to have to focus — perhaps even more so in this economy — on the things that really matter when it comes to Internet marketing: who your customers are, what they are looking for, how to get them to convert once they get to you and how to keep improving your results.
So, let's get ready. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Let's plan on a great 2009. It's all we can do.