Digital trends for 2011

I recently listened in on an eMarketer webinar, “Key Digital Trends for 2011”, designed to answers questions around: why marketers are increasing spending on social media – and what it means for other marketing budgets, why apps aren’t just a mobile tool, and how targeting consumers by location will evolve.

So, what does this mean for 2011?  Well, here are my thoughts on the seven trends are in, so you be the judge:

Trend 1: Apps Invade All Platforms

All of us use apps on our mobile devices, such as: Facebook, TweetDeck, Hipstamatic and Sportacular. But the next “big” trend leads to the evolution of apps – “Apps Go Everywhere”. Now, we are not talking just mobility here, we are talking desktops, TVs, tablets. With the Mac store now open, we’ll see a early preview of what’s to come, and how big of an impact desktop apps will have. Not to mention, how they’ll be leveraged and sold and now become part of a marketer’s tools.

Trend 2: Content Consumption Convergence

Basically, we as customers engage seamlessly with content across multiple platforms. Not surprised? Nor are we, but one thing to consider when marketing your products and services is being prepared to leverage the unique characteristics the platform has to offer and especially pay close attention to the way devices and context increase the appeal of your advertising.

Trend 3: Location, Location, Location

Yes. Location Based Services (LBS) are here to stay (roughly 33.4M users to date). Not just to the likes of Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. But due to the rise of other social networking sites leveraging LBS to motivate users to obtain useful information and finding deals (of course). LBS are on the rise, but are definitely not mainstream yet.  But give it time, as more and more marketing spends are being put against it.

Trend 4: Social Gets Its Share of Marketing Dollars

For those in the social space, this comes to no surprise. Clients are demanding social media strategies more then ever. And with that, comes Trend #4. Social media is no longer an add-on for marketers as described by Debra Aho Williamson.  To me, it boils down to her four main points: 1. Usage of social media tools is still growing. 2. Budgets are increasing. 3. Integration is key. 4. The need for ROI is critical. With more then 8 out of 10 companies planning to increase their spend in 2011, the true winners will be those with a solid strategy and plan in place, and who are well organized to handle the daily needs to executing it right.

Trend 5: Real-Time Bidding

What is real-time bidding (RTB) you ask? It’s how marketers buy ads based on impressions tied to a specific site, location of the ad or a number of impressions desired for a potential segmentation. Basically, it helps marketers buy audience instead of inventory, which means you the marketer, will need to place more importance on knowing your audience and their personas.

Trend 6: Targeting Audiences vs. Content

In 2010, four types of targeting were most commonly used: Demographic, Behavioral, Channel and Contextual.  For 2011, the trend is not about content anymore, rather its about the audience and segments you wish to market to. In the past, we have relied on the content the publisher has, and then placed ads on it. Now, the trend is to focus solely on the audience/segmentation and less on the content offered.

Trend 7: Online Privacy Debate Heats Up

This topic alone is another blog post in itself. So, to be fair and keep on topic, let’s break it down to what eMarketer calls the 7 key factors driving the debate about digital privacy:

  1. Consumer concern about being tracked
  2. Advertiser-publisher need to monetize
  3. Combining online with offline data
  4. Rapid growth of Facebook’s ad system
  5. Rise of check-ins, location-based services
  6. EU’s focus on striker privacy protection
  7. Consume choice vs. marketer goals

Well, there it is, seven key digital trends for 2011. Do you believe they’re right? Have some trends of your own? Or, just want to share your take?  Please let us know by adding your comments/feedback below.

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