2010 proved to be an eventful year with tectonic shifts resulting from developments in Facebook and Google, the continued rise of video, the tablet and smart phone wars, the proliferation of apps in mobile devices, and many more. From the way things are looking now, 2011 is shaping up to be quite the ride as well. The Nostradamuses at B2Bento predict what to expect from a digital marketing standpoint.
Our predictions focus on four key areas namely strategy, technology, design and media. Some will have an obvious and immediate impact of B2B marketing while others are more on the subtle side.
- The rise of mobile apps. Apps, including those that are developed for business, would still rise in acceptance and popularity due to the proliferation of mobile devices.
- More user-generated content. Tools that enable simplified content creation will lead to more user-generated and personalised content.
- Increased digital presence. Company websites are no longer the be-all-end-all destinations that they were in the past. Social media has since provided a new channel wherein your company can engage your audience.
- Social media marketing fatigue. As social media marketing slowly gains critical mass, it would inevitably become more mature and more focused after the hype dies and everything settles down.
- The return to visual thinking. Innovations to analytics like social data visualisation, which enable us to see visually how our data behaves, would lead to better understanding on how to improve our digital marketing.
- The popularity of the immersive experience. The exciting developments in 3D and related technology will only continue to gain favor and acceptance. This will result in the need for digital marketers to tailor their efforts to create more immersive experiences.
- The cloud changes everything. This is a no-brainer really. With things like Google’s upcoming Chrome OS on the horizon, cloud computing would just become bigger and more popular in the coming year.
- SEO beyond Google. Localised SEO will be prominent in 2011.
- Blurring the lines between online and offline. The need for marketers to be able to switch quickly between digital and traditional modes of marketing will be more pronounced.
- The rise of HTML 5. Usage of Flash will surely go down as Google, Apple, Youtube, Vimeo, etc. adopt HTML 5. Flash as an authoring tool will remain though.
- Video is still hot. The success of this medium in terms of delivering content will still extend to the following year.
Digital marketing in 2011
We would see a push towards a more unified view of the customer. Previously, different facets of the company look at customers in different ways. Brand guys look at customers as ‘cohorts’ while analytics people see them as ‘demographics’. Marketing automation’s rise will lead us to realise that our compartmentalised processes need to come out of our silos and bridge the gap between sales marketing and customer services.
We can also expect to have more ‘unified experiences’. How marketers talk on a particular channel is different from the way they talk on another. But even if channels are separate, the overall experience would be unified. Marketers should be able to understand what their audience’s preferences are and must be able to cater to each and every one of them in a flexible way. There would be a surge in ‘device-neutral’ content, those that can be consumed from mobile devices to the traditional desktop computers, because re-purposing simply takes lots of effort and money.
But the most important prediction would be that “2011 is the year everything goes back to the basics.” This means digital marketing, especially the B2B kind, would hark back to the days of yore. Essential things like landing page, email marketing with scientific methods and focusing more on writing proper copy would see a much-deserved return to prominence, a return to the scientific side of marketing if you will, as opposed to the current trend wherein everyone is falling over themselves while trying to go for the next shiny object.
Now that is a very comforting thought indeed.
Are our predictions valid? Have we totally missed the boat on something? Let us know!