Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 + 1 Huge Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

"Digital marketing is a discipline in flux", says . We face an onslaught of shiny new technologies and platforms that promise to “change everything.” Marketers are creating similarly breathless headlines, proclaiming the next revolutionary devices/apps/social networks.

Yet, even smart marketers don’t know what changes the future will bring; but they do need to be aware that their industry is changing every day. For instance, to reach consumers marketers need to be increasingly mobile, engaging, relevant and aware of the contexts in which we currently operate. 

Here are five digital marketing trends as identified by

1. Location Services
2. New Ad Formats
3. User-Generated Curation
4. Advertise by Format
5. Integrated Marketing

Read more on these trends here. Would love to add Hybrid Retailing as the 6th trend, wherein there is a seamless integration of the ZMOT and the FMOT, specifically with the use of mobile devices. 

Deals May Get You in the Door, but They Won't Build Relationships.

2010 & 2011 were all about "deals". Everyone chased the "new & shiny objects" However, there is an increasing concern on the value of the "deal customers". Marketers have avidly sought social-media fans in recent years, often using deals or sweepstakes to boost numbers. But are they really attracting the right people? 

Data from social-media analytics firm Colligent suggest many brands have attracted lots of deal seekers. And while these consumers may be profitable, they're not the most-effective brand advocates, according to some analysts and social-media executives. 

Brands that build fan bases using sweepstakes "end up with a very difficult time trying to get those fans to engage," said Justin Kistner, director of social products at analytics firm WebTrends. "They were never with your brand in the first place. They just wanted a chance to win that iPad," he said. "We call it garbage fans." 

Twitter now is even touting its relative lack of deal-seekers among brand followers as a selling point vs. Facebook. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Understanding Frictionless Sharing

The term frictionless sharing refers to one’s online activity on his or her social network and connected personal profiles being automatically shared without having to click a button. Anticipating a potential decline of social button usage, Facebook launched frictionless sharing so that the volume of content on Facebook would continue to grow at an accelerated pace. Frictionless sharing potentially eliminates the need of social buttons as a way to share content with social network connections. When end users approve frictionless sharing applications, all media consumption is automatically posted to their profiles for the world to see.

Many companies like Spotify, The Washington Post, and The Guardian have already adopted frictionless sharing, and we can expect more companies to do the same as people grow tired of clicking multiple buttons to share content across their social networks. While frictionless model continues to be controversial – especially around the invasive quality of its functionality – some reports suggest that many people have come to accept information sharing as the price one pays to participate in social networking. However, it’s only a matter of time before the passive sharing of content causes too many privacy violations to be ignored – forcing more people to question the need to “pay a price” at all.

The Social Media Advocacy Model

In theory, as social media becomes more common place, organizational audience engagement objectives, strategies and tactics should evolve past acquisition towards advocacy. is quite sure some consumer brands are heading in this direction but, in his experience, many companies and agencies still seem to be focused on driving audience awareness and using “likes” and “follows” as success metrics.

To spark some discussion on the topic Mark thought it might be helpful to present an encapsulated view of advocacy. This brilliant infographic aims to present advocacy at a glance, explaining where it sits on the audience relationship spectrum while visualizing the steps organizations can follow to move connections towards becoming advocates.

Key Points About Integrating Traditional and New Mediums

Some brands have been forged in the digital fire while others have had to (or eventually will have to) jump into it. The biggest problem Michael sees here is we are trying to treat these two entities as one.

These are two very different situations and need to be treated as such. Those outside the bubble, who did not build their business in these channels are interested in what digital has to offer, but they don’t always need it just yet. It’s not that there isn’t a juicy opportunity, but balancing multiple channels (especially a mix of traditional and digital ones) is no easy feat.

Michael writes that we often try to show traditional brands the success digital brands have experienced. It is alluring, but it isn’t always relevant. Rather than enticing prospects with purely digital examples like Zappos or even those who have long had digital efforts like Levis, one needs to understand a few key points illustrated wonderfully here in a recent post by Michael Schechter.

Digital Marketing Outlook. 2012.