August 25, 2009
2010 Planning Time
It’s that time of year when we try to simultaneously don sunglasses and looking glasses. While we cherish the last month of summer, this is the time when we also sort through the opportunities, trends, and needs for our marketing and technology plans for the coming year. With reduced budgets and shrinking resources, knowing how to maximize these plans has become increasingly important. Here is a top level scan of some of the news around us that might help you in planning:
- Digital wins in every regard. To grow sales, deliver value and reduce expense, numerous marketing studies report that most companies are increasing digital marketing spending, despite substantial reductions in overall marketing/advertising budgets. As George Colony (Forrester) says, “When the economic clouds clear, many prevailing elites will have been swept away . . . Those who can speak digital will thrive, and those who cannot will finally get the message and retire.”
- eCommerce is growing again. There is modest good news from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau news release on August 17: estimated retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2009 adjusted for seasonal variation are up 2.2% from the first quarter. This is the second quarter of quarter-over-quarter growth following two quarters of decline in the second half of 2008. Even if your business does not actually sell products online, it is critical that marketers continue to support the buyer through the sales process.
- Diversify within the digital mix. According to Forrester’s July 2009, “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014,” expect double-digit annual growth in spending in each of the following areas: mobile marketing, social media, email marketing, display advertising and search marketing. These channels work best when they are interconnected. Blogs, social networks and YouTube videos are all effective ways to obtain more listings in search engines, as well as demonstrate thought leadership and connect directly with clients and customers. Over 25% of the listings in Google are from user-generated content. Video is playing an increasingly important role: it’s viral, informative, personal and easily integrated in your Web site and social media campaign.
- ROI is key, but don’t be fooled by the data. We strongly recommend deploying and using site analytics to improve conversions and to improve usability and customer service. As you analyze your data, it is vital to look past the surface. Our analytics experts caution that Web analytics packages often credit the conversion to the last action a customer took on your site. But many earlier and subsequent customer interactions can contribute to ROI. “Top of funnel” marketing initiatives (e.g., efforts that establish your brand via social media or help a user easily find information on your Web site) are important, even if they do not directly produce conversions.
- It’s not technology or marketing – it’s both, in true collaboration. Only through a genuine partnership can you assure that customer value is delivered on a sound technology base. This may be the right time to implement technologies such as content management and truly superior eCommerce to facilitate greater speed to marketing and to reduce programming cost.
If you want help planning your interactive strategy, call us (973-539-5255, ext. 1) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.