2010 Internet Marketing Predictions From Your Peers: Twitter will lick its wounds, think beyond the desktop Web, scent marketing, and more

Predictions, especially technology predictions, are fraught with peril.

From…”Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments,” by Roman engineer Julius Sextus Frontinus in 10 A.D. to… “Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput,” by British entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar, in 2005, we humans find it notoriously difficult to gaze into that crystal ball and discover what lies just over the hill.

Alexander Crystal SeerYet so many of you took our challenge, stuck your flag up on that mountain, and tried to peer into a place no one has yet ventured into…the future.

In a way, it makes sense. As Internet marketers, you stake your career on a constantly evolving technology that shapes the way we live as we shape it. Every day in the office, you build the metaphorical airplane not only while it is in flight, but with parts that have never been used before.

So as a new decade dawns, take a moment to contemplate how you will leverage this awesome technology that has humbled so many a great thinker and how you can make your web site smarter.

And then take a look at what your peers had to say. They certainly didn’t make it easy to choose, but here they are…in no particular order…our 10 favorite Internet marketing predictions for 2010 as submitted by the MarketingExperiments community…

Integrated digital campaigns

“Last year was marked by the extensive use of social media and viral videos and the trend will definitely continue, but since these domains will soon get saturated with only the most creative and radically different initiatives managing to garner the audience’s attention, companies will finally realize that using social media and viral videos just for the sake of using them will never work. This year will probably be the time for integrated digital campaigns; campaigns that make sense to the brand and the target.

Also, when it comes to emerging nations (and especially India), I hope marketing professionals will introduce more and more mobile-based applications to leverage the tremendous opportunities that such a mobile-savvy population presents.”

    Gauri Nawathe, Assistant Advertising Project Manager at BNP Paribas

It’s all about local

Social CRM (customer relationship management) is not a word that’s quite on the mainstream radar yet, but one I believe will in some form or another show up more and more in 2010. A lot of local businesses I talk to struggle with understanding how they should use social media to drive more business, and more importantly have overlooked how it can tap into the clientele they already have. Promoting your business to people you already have a relationship with is easier than ever, and new tools and methodologies will help business owners take advantage of that fact.

    – Phillip Rather, Manager Director at PandaMedia and CEO of HomePros

Think beyond the desktop Web

“We saw 2009 as the year that most companies tried out social media as a platform where they can connect to costumers. We saw a lot of experimentations, ‘one offs’ and small tactics in the past year (e.g. online promotions, short-term gimmicks, etc.). I’m seeing 2010 as the year when most companies will start to integrate social media in their overall marketing strategy with a more long-term objective.

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Also, I’m seeing 2010 as year when we’ll see more convergence of the mobile and online platforms. More companies will now think beyond the desktop Web and put more effort on the mobile Web. They’ll start to focus on how they can create a seamless Web experience (from desktop to mobile or vice-versa) to their customers.”

    – Paulo del Puerto, Digital Projects Head at ABS-CBN Interactiv

All linked. All cohesive All unified.

“Leading up to 2010, we were introduced to many different platforms and strategies for marketing. I’d like to think that – instead of talking about SEO or banner ads – we are talking about more unified and coordinated marketing strategies. Social media integrated with highly usable web designs, leveraging rich mobile, meshed with SEO and paid click – all tracked and managed in a unified manner.

And perhaps a resurgence of offline marketing in coordination – like direct mail pieces and other media. All linked. All cohesive. All unified. Maybe this is the true Web 2.0?”

    Stephen Harris, Founder/Managing Director at Cross Sea Strategy Advisors

The lost art of creative, targeted direct mail

“I think that as more and more people are going to the Web people will become more de-sensitized to this type of medium. Therefore, a well-crafted, dimensional direct mail package will get opened because the lost art of creative, targeted direct mail will have a big impact.”

    Derek Miller, Owner, ProPrinters

Small businesses can drive a huge impact

“I believe 2010 will be the year that local business will be able to succeed online. In the past if you were a restaurant, hotel, or doctor’s office in a small market, it just simply was not worth your time to be
interested in anything beyond a website. Now, with Google displaying the map before the normal search results for local queries, the opportunity for you to ask one hundred of your friends on Facebook what they would recommend, and the power of review sites, small businesses can drive a huge impact to their bottom line just by being involved in the conversation.”

Mobile marketing and local listings

“Mobile marketing is the next major step in the digital space. In the past year, the mobile application industry has grown exponentially and given the consumer the power of finding information at their finger tips while they are on the road and around town.

Now web-based local listing services (there are over 20 of them from Google to Yahoo to Bing to Ask to Yelp, etc.) are pushing local business listing information to these devices.

Businesses can use QR Codes for their coupons. They can get their products and services onto the local listings that include photos, videos, coupons, offers, discounts, and promotions. This will effectively take the traditional Yellow Pages out of the picture once and for all. Keep in mind that this is not only for the local small business, but for any business – large franchises, restaurants, banks, drug stores, hardware stores, electronic stores, etc.”

Twitter will lick its wounds…

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“…wondering why it didn’t capitalize on a spectacular 2009. It will still be unprofitable. More companies will embrace social media, especially big companies. The big companies will still be behind the curve but their money and sheer size will make them players and influence the direction that social media takes, especially in the B2B world.”

Scent Marketing

“I predict impressive brand scent campaigns within 10 to 14 months for Canada. Europe, specifically London, has already gained strength and Spain is not far behind. The USA will join in within 16 to 18 months and will push the trends. Watch and smell, people! Social media may be considered strong but you never forget a smell. The impression of social media lasts less than a second or until the next blog shows up.”

If your small business doesn’t rank…

“Use of Geolocation means that in 2010 small businesses can no longer rely on the Yellow Pages to generate traffic to their businesses.

Already, the Yellow Pages has been relocated to a closet corner (at best) or the recycle bin (more likely), and has been replaced by local search. This trend will continue, and the increased use of smart phones will make local search results even more important in 2010.

Already, when driving through town, I can pop open Google Maps on my Blackberry, hold the talk button, and ask for a list of service providers. Maps tags my location via GPS and feeds me results. If your small business doesn’t rank… then you’ll be missing out on a lot of traffic.”

As you build that plane in flight, we’ll be here for you – studying this morphing machine called Internet marketing to continually discover what really works so you don’t have to fly blind. Use your own tests, combined with our experiments, to take advantage of real-world data and proven principles to help guide your online marketing efforts. Because, as computer scientist Alan Kay has said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

We’re currently accepting input for our next community-written blog post. What is your favorite source of news and information in the advertising and marketing industry? Not a blog or magazine you just like…but something you really love enough to send a virtual Valentine to on this upcoming (and well-marketed) holiday.

Email or share your feedback in the MarketingExperiments Optimization group and we’ll publish our favorites in a future post right here on the blog. And like a good marketer…be a little creative.

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11 Comments

  1. Phillip Rather says

    Daniel thanks for including my comment. Its a great piece and everyones contributions ring true. You can check out the rest of our blog at http://www.thebigpanda.com/news where we are discussing local business marketing.

  2. Tracy Pepe says

    Thanks again for considering my comment. I agree with Philip – well done!

  3. mikewarren says

    Thanks for this blog post.I am also doing internet marketing so this post helps me a lot.

  4. Mark McCulloch says

    I have been researching social media for a very long time now and I have not been able to find such top quality information untill I came to your blog today.

    Mark McCulloch

  5. Paulo del Puerto says

    Thanks for featuring my prediction.

  6. Mitch Lapides says

    Content…it’s all about content..and we’ll see its role increasing in importance. As we continue to see unprecedented growth in the use of tools such as Twitter and Facebook and continued emphasis on SEO, how do you rise above the noise? Are people really getting desensitized due to just the sheer volume? Or is it more the rise in irrelevant and unfiltered content? What’s noticed, read, and acted upon will still come down to relevance and quality. Those who follow Twitter will notice those most relevant to them. Those who get 10 email newsletters/month will likely continue to open the 6/month that are delivering relevant, valuable content to solve real challenges. And, those seeking SEO gains will get them, to a great extent, because of the quality content they provide (although the obvious best practices will still be important).

  7. Mark Clayson says

    great post! thanks for sharing this brilliant stuff.

  8. Simon Griffiths says

    This is good stuff, but can I add one more which I can see as being the ‘next big thing’ and brings together many of the topics mentioned above.

    Social media has been predicted to essentially become mainstream as has local search, but there are now a few services that combine the two. The big one at the moment is Foursquare (www.foursquare.com). This is part social media, part game, part search and a great marketing opportunity.

    Essentially foursquare allows you to ‘check in’ at locations from your phones gps or manually. You can add comments (tips as they call them) and friend other people. It even has a feature that allows import from your twitter friends list. The game element comes in as you get points for checking in, and can compete to see who has the most points. You also get badges which relate to points somehow, but I’m not quite sure how!

    Local search comes into it as you can see what is in the local area your friends have visited or commented about. However the real marketing genius is that if you visit somewhere enough times you can become the ‘mayor’ of that place. As a business you can offer promotions to foursquare users or mayors. Imagine if you have a lot of users in your area and you run a coffee shop. Offering the mayor of your shop free coffee will mean that people will start to compete to be the mayor, increasing the traffic through your door!

    Sorry if I have got a bit carried away with my explanation. Just so you know, I have no association with them at all, I am just really impressed with the genius of it from a marketing perspective!

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