Online Marketing: 10 Trends and 6 Don’ts

Trends in Online MarketingThe Qualitative Research Consultants Association’s Susan Saurage-Altenloh, and American Marketing Association’s Expert Contributor, Jennifer Bunner, write about the in’s and out’s of current marketing platforms and how to avoid mistakes in digital space.

In the QRCA’s article, the first four of the top ten trends in marketing for 2013 can be seen to revolve around social media marketing, which just happens to be the number one trend right now.  The next three, mobile marketing, introducing interactive formats, and technology-enabled researchers, all suggest a marketing world centered around the web.  With recent connections between people’s online lives and their mobile lives with the expansion of the Iphone and other smartphones, social media can only be seen as having more potential as sites like Facebook and Twitter become embedded in these devices.  As discussed in previous posts, social media’s interactive feature is exactly what makes it a special medium.  That two-way conversation between a consumer and the brand develops trust and relationships in a way unlike other marketing campaigns.  And of course this is tied to “technology-enabled researchers”.  To understand the successes and failures in this marketing world requires being proactive in understanding the technology involved and being able to access the data which exists therein.

Other trends found by the QRCA include increased understanding of the consumer using the new mediums available.  For instance, Hybrid research, increased automation  living the “consumer experience”, and looking into behavioral economic theory all boil down to looking at what is found from online marketing campaigns and social media, and looping that information back in to see what is working and what isn’t.

These trends also tie into Bunner’s arguments about digital don’ts, which can also be read as digital do’s when you take their converse.  Her first three? Don’t market without a specific goal, don’t forget to target a specific audience, and don’t use flat and static content.  In other words  have specific goals, have your content be audience specific, and use exciting and engaging content that the consumer can interact with.    These are the basic ideas that are drum up in apparently every article on digital marketing.  None of this is surprising, or very insightful.

Her other ideas include ensuring that you have a multi-channel approach, so that social media isn’t your only marketing operations, ensuring you include all relevant data, because, well, you should, and, ensuring that you test and optimize your campaign to see what draws more attention.  Again, I don’t know what kind of business invested in social media and other online marketing wouldn’t do these kinds of things, but I suppose the reminder doesn’t hurt anyone.

In sum, the trends can be seen as two-fold: One, increased social media attention and technologies.  And two, increased data and information from the very mediums that are hot in marketing now.  Bunner’s article simply parallels the QRCA’s, stating that you should be sure that you hop onto that train as it is taking off, investing in exciting and engaging social media, and watching to see how the data reflects that effort.

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