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The future of digital marketing

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Big Brother is watching youBehavioural targeting is set to become even more widespread. On the one hand, this means improved experiences for consumers: your online behaviour will be logged and you preferences cached by online applications so that your browser can "suggest" sites, products and tools that you might like. However, many are understandably concerned with the resulting privacy issues.

For marketers, this opens up a whole new world of tailored advertising. Social networks will be invaluable: you’ll be able to lob content at niche demographics like never before.

Social marketing is the new SEOConsumers will vote with their mouse as reciprocal voting becomes the new reciprocal linking. Think about the growth of Twitter: you "follow" those who "follow" you.

For businesses and brands, social media strategies offer a fairly low barrier to entry, and the opportunity to attract masses of traffic in a short period of time.

Even more importantly, social media will become a cornerstone of the marketing strategy for launching sites, and/or improving their link popularity. Gone are the days of being able to artificially boost your rankings by buying or placing links; this equates to a much more level playing field for all players.

All-singing, all-dancing website designMarketers need to understand the smaller screen. All websites should have solutions for mobile technology. This means designers need to create a simplified/non flash version of a site or build the site with a clean, W3C compliant code.

Net books are the credit-crunching PC story of 2009 – cheap, robust and fast enough for surfing, email and word processing. By definition they have smaller screens and should be considered in design on all sites.

Refurb instead of renewForget the complete rebuilding of websites, refurb instead of renew. Marketers need to think of websites as houses. You have solid foundations but the architecture and interior design needs some attention. This will be especially important in the not-to-distant future as budgets are squeezed.

Analytics and website optimisation tools are increasingly sophisticated – it’s easier than ever to find out what is working on your website and what is not. Tweak your site to perfection.Market on all frontsOnline and offline marketing techniques will increasingly be packaged together. Offline campaigns wll be backed up with online material like viral marketing, microsites and social media strategies.

E-mail communications will evolveEverybody agrees that promotional e-mail is practically dead. Given people’s fatigue with frenzied email shots and stale offers, marketers in the future will focus on delivering relevant messages to consumers when they’re most ready to listen to them.

This means delivering clever, behaviourally triggered email content relating to customers actions. There will be greater use of newsletters that provide customers with either valuable or entertaining information. This will compliment other marketing strategies to get greater results as mentioned previously.

Mashups will become more prevalentMashing up two applications into one integrated tool will become more prevalent over the next few years. There are many different types of mashups, such as consumer mashups, business mashups, and data mashups. Examples include Google Maps applications, iGuide and RadioClouds.

Business mashups are new, combining the best of consumer mashups and data mashups with a strong process component. They help the marketeer deliver new insight into markets and remarkable new content to consumers, quickly and with relatively little programming knowledge.

RSS news feeds will go mainstream RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardised format.

RSS feeds in the future may not replace newsletters and email shots completely, but will compliment them, playing an integral part in a website’s furniture. RSS forms part of the future of pull marketing where engaging content is delivered to the consumer at several "hang out" points online.

Related articles Marketing in action Five golden rules for e-tailers Adjust your marketing plan. Today.Picture source

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