1. Internet advertising is booming
Granted attending a conference dedicated to digital marketing implies a dominant theme of ‘how good things are in that space,’ the numbers also speak volumes. Internet advertising grew almost as much in 2011 as it did in 2007, when the industry was half the size. An increase in devices and in our ability to customize and personalize content led to better targeting and, consequently, higher return on investment.
2. Rise of all things mobile
Are you viewing this on your phone? Well, statistically, almost half of you are. Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney outlined a few major trends for 2012, but stressed the rise in mobile search. We have all witnessed the numbers of mobile searches go up, but in 2012, they will account for 10 to 20 % of ALL Google searches. Given the fact that tablets and smartphones outsell PCs today, that number is likely to be higher (we can re-visit at the end of the year). The beauty of mobile searches for marketers? It provides the user’s positioning data, ultimately serving as the foundation for appropriate geo-targeting. (Did you REALLY think Instagram / FB thing was just about pictures?)
3. The future of TV is comprehensive
Perhaps personalization should be the overall trend of all things digital, because TV is definitely following suit on that as well. Hulu’s Jason Kilar talked about TV content that would appeal to interest of each specific customer. Similar to Pandora, the future of television entertainment is headed toward being highly customized, comprehensive, and unusually convenient – anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. Again, the new the new formats and mediums will offer additional user data, securing better targeting and a higher value for advertisers.
4. Social search becoming powerful
About two years ago, I attended a seminar on reaching bloggers and online influencers, where we discussed the “gatekeepers” of info in the age of social media and blogs. Buzzfeed and the Daily Beast were both named as such – ultimately becoming the deciding powers of what gets read by the masses online. Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti took it further in his presentation by discussing the idea of Social Advertising, a medium measured by influence and virality rather than impressions or clicks (example).
5. Honesty = best branding policy
We have been preaching authentic brand content for a quite some time now, so to see that idea reflected in the work of others is gratifying. Remi Carlioz of Puma and Baba Shetty of Hill Holliday talked about the importance of sincerity in brands’ online content and conversations. Puma used their example of the After Hours Athlete campaign, where they knew that memes like ‘cock-block’, and ‘bacon-sandwiches with extra hot sauce’ spoke to Puma’s audience in that campaign, as well as its authenticity.