Online Marketing Trends 2012: Opinions from the Experts

The online marketing landscape is changing quickly and dramatically – deeper marriage of Social and SEO, importance of influencers, heightened focus on content marketing, emergence of new social networks – and there’s a lot to consider in 2012. Here are a few opinions from experts that are at the forefront of online marketing…

ashkan karbasfrooshan

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan (@ashkan)
Contributer at Techcrunch, CEO of Watchmojo
Having asked a number of professionals for their input re: predictions and also published a list of things that should happen but won’t, I think 2012 will be marked by a steady continuation of all of the main trends we have been seeing for a few years now:

– viewers shifting consumption from TV to web,
– advertisers following suit,
– flight to quality of programming,
– scale and brands mattering more than ever;

but I don’t see any one of these things accelerating overnight because the incumbent (TV) and biggest marketers are content with the status quo. This doesn’t mean that things won’t change drastically in 5-10 years but year-over-year change will appear slow and steady. I know this isn’t sexy but in my 10+ years in online media and 6 years in online video, I think this is most likely.

albert armengol

Albert Armengol (@albertarmengol)
Serial entrepreneur, founder of Doctoralia
Keep your eye out on the newcomers to the social networking game: Google+ especially due to the impact of GPYW (Google+ your world) as well as Pinterest. Also,  Facebook will be more and more prevalent in the traditional marketing mix mainly due to the awareness given by its IPO, and with new advertisement products: Ads in Timeline, and new actions in ads (want, listen, read).

Two other big trends in 2012: keyword remarketing and specific actions & campaigns for mobile web .

mauricio prieto

Mauricio Prieto (@mauprieto)
Co-founder, CMO of eDreams
Some of the big trends I see in 2012 are the following:
– Content Marketing as Social becomes the backbone of SEO with more focus on content creation optimized for humans instead of spiders or robots.
– Ability to fish out and generate relevant, insightful and unique content out of the tons of data buried in your company.
– Online marketers will need to get more involved in improving user experience and customer service as search results become more dependent on social signals.
– Online marketing successes in twitter, Pinterest, 4sq… will continue to be exceptions as these sites monetization models are yet to be fully defined.
– Obsessive focus on metrics to reach a wider audience and to make the most out of each hard-fought visit.
– Dynamic product placement in traditional media, video.  Depending on where you’re watching a show, the character could either drink coke or pepsi.
– Hot commodities to hire in marketing departments: Inbound marketers, Technical marketers, Analytics, Content editors.

chad pollitChad Pollit (@CPollittIU)
Director of Inbound Marketing, Kuno Creative
The first [TREND] is that we’ll start seeing very large swings in client budgets from traditional outbound marketing to inbound marketing. It’s happening all around us and 2012 is the year the boardrooms around the world finally “get it.”

The second trend I see unfolding is the evolution of SEO from a numbers-crunching algorithm-gaming science to a dynamic content-centric socially driven art.

maria sipkaMaria Sipka (@mariasipka)
Founder of Linqia
There will be a significant shift from quantity (number of fans, followers, comments) to quality metrics across all social media activities. Almost every business has dabbled with social media setting up their twitter profiles, fan pages and blogs and the larger brands are now starting to explore more deep and meaningful relationships and engagements. There will be a significant shift in overtly commercial content to content that tells a story. See contently that helps brands connect with content producers.

I’ve been observing the tidal wave of journalists and PR professionals into the social media realm and these folks know how to build relationships. This will impact traditional advertising agencies and the old media budgets/ spends.

Brands are also realizing that a centralized approach to their efforts needs to be balanced with a decentralized approach of reaching people that matter to them in non- brand owned channels. Engagement and visibility rates are below 1% on facebook fan pages and the speed at which twitter ticks is loosing the attention it once had by the public.

Influencer outreach platforms such as Klout, SponsoredTweets and Linqia will super charge engagement in infinite micro communities and social spaces across the web.

Communities such as Mamapedia are shifting to group buying business models focused on affinity.

javier martinJavier Martin (@loogic)
Startup mentor, founder of Loogic
In my opinion, online marketing trends in 2012 are going to follow to important and diverging lines. On one side, we have everything related to results-oriented marketing and, on the other, we have influence-oriented marketing. Results-oriented marketing is 100% focused on bottom line numbers and what most small-medium size companies will continue to focus on, specifically in the ecommerce sector. Influence marketing is where social networks and online influencers (who are converting to opinion leaders in these channels) are increasingly growing in audience compared to other communication channels and until now have had more relative power to influence opinions and information.

liza sperlingLiza Sperling (@lizasperling)
Director of Product Marketing & Corp Communications at Seesmic
The marketing trends I see for 2012 include:
– Continued focus on privacy: how much info are consumers willing to sacrifice in exchange for targeted experiences and discounts
– Shift from enterprise spend to challenge of enterprise adoption, as software investments face hurdles of internal change management and difficulty  measuring the value of 2011’s investments
– Google+, how can/should brands participate as impact becomes impossible to ignore

sal gilibertoSalvatore Giliberto (@sgiliberto)
Marketing Programs Manager at Awareness, Inc.
Facebook used to be focused on helping marketers gain more fans. Through changes they have made to their add interface and new features they’ve released you can see they are now focused on helping marketers drive more engagement instead.

Another big change you will see is marketers being able to take advantage of ‘big data.’ Right now only larger companies can process huge amounts of social data and use it for greater targeting and more effective messaging. Soon all marketers will be able to access tools that them to play with the big boys.

New social networks will continue to pop up and marketers will continue to experiment with them. But you’ll also see marketers expand their social presence within the networks they already participate in. For example, instead of a company having one Twitter handle for all their content, they’ll have one for their products, one for industry news, one for their work in the community, etc. Companies will do this because tools have made it easier to manage multiple social channels.


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