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Five Internet Marketing Gurus Spot 2010 Trends

The velocity of changes in Internet Marketing increases each year. To stay on top of your game, you need to know what's coming next in your specific discipline as well as categories that are related to your core competency.

Sr. Editor Janet Roberts and I interviewed 5 key people who make it their business to know what's coming next. One of our big takeaways is this year will be better than last. eMarketer's David Hallerman says 2009 media spend was off by 4.6%, while 2010 will be up by 5.5%, reaching $23.6 billion. I'll take it.

There are some surprises up ahead. You can read about them below in our heavily edited interview transcripts.

Social Media Trends: Edelman Digital's Steve Rubel

Real-Time Search Impact

Search engines have had to evolve to bring us not only relevant results but also results that are relevant right now.

Search engines will start to bring in more real-time information as Google and Bing are doing now. However, they will be challenged to figure out the right algorithm that juxtaposes social content next to content that is more static, sometimes more authoritative, yet highly relevant.

The next step is to filter it through what Facebook's Nathan Beard calls "the lens of friends" so that you see what your friends and their friends are sharing and prioritize it. Google's Social Search shows promise. Facebook will be right behind them.

SocMed Monetizing For Some

Social Media is already monetizing for those who are making an effort to engage. The key is to move from a campaign mentality to a sustained presence. Otherwise, you constantly start/stop. The more involved you are over time, the more your costs go down and therefore your return goes up.

Mobile Adds Location Impact to Social Media

Mobile will continue the trends it accelerated in 2009: making things faster and briefer; that's what mobile devices do well.

In addition, location will become part of the entire experience - not a separate entity as it is now like with location application Foursquare. Rubel predicts some M&A activity in the next few months as a result.

Facebook Up; Twitter Flat

Rubel is bullish about Facebook's and Google's prospects. This is primarily because both leverage data in powerful ways that make their companies' core experience and advertising services stronger, more personalized and more relevant every day.

This isn't the case for Twitter which is in no rush to earn revenues during what may be its peak hour. However, they continue to hang on. Rubel bets Twitter will maintain flat growth in 2010. Beyond this year is unclear.

Mobile Marketing Trends: eMarketer's Noah Elkin

Android Versus iPhone

Android will certainly become a more significant player in the mobile OS market. Owners of Android devices have similar usage profiles as those with iPhones. While the iPhone is always the point of comparison for any new smartphone that comes to market, it isn't always the target. For Google, mobile is an important front in a much larger (and longer) war against Microsoft for computing supremacy.

Click-to-Call a 'Must-Do' for Mobile Marketers

As marketers gain a deeper appreciation for their customers' mobile usage patterns, from search to action, click-to-call is one of those features that should go on their "must-do" list. Click-to-call goes hand in hand with better location targeting in improving search relevancy and improving the overall search experience for mobile users.

More Advertisers Go Mobile

Automotive, publishing and entertainment brands (particularly film studios) have been early leaders in mobile and will continue advertising aggressively on mobile.

But companies in all categories have a place on mobile devices. We'll start to see a bigger presence from retailers, financial service businesses and CPG firms this year.

Big Year for Display, SMS/MMS

This year should see significant traction for display advertising and SMS/MMS as well. eMarketer predicts the following breakdown in 2010:

  • Messaging: $285 million (48%)
  • Display: $166 million (28%)
  • Search: $142 million (24%)

Continued growth in the number of apps (and app stores) and overall Web usage on mobile devices will fuel the display market.

Mobile's 'Additive Effect'

Some marketers we've spoken with see mobile gaining its own [budget] line item in 2010. Others see budget coming from traditional or digital or both.

Mobile can bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds. Regardless of where mobile is bucketed (or gets its budget), marketers increasingly recognize the "additive effect" it has on their other efforts, both online and off.

Search Marketing Trends: comScore's Eli Goodman

Shifts Between PPC and SEO Spending

With the advancements in universal search, local search, video search, vertical search, and the like, Goodman foresees some shifting of search spend back towards the Organic/SEO side of the fence in 2010. But since Search is still growing strongly, both Paid and Organic will likely continue to see strong investment increases.

Bigger Spend on Search Marketing

Most projections point towards double-digit percentage growth. More advanced ROI analysis techniques allow marketers to better judge soft-dollar search value like latent response, branding impact, etc., which will only encourage further investment in search as an advertising medium.

Mobile Versus Desktop: No Cannibalizing ... Yet

With the ever-increasing amount of search going on, whether it be Mobile or Desktop, Goodman does not see any critical mass reached in 2010 with mobile that would materially cannibalize desktop searching.

Mobile search skews towards topics like local search as well as burgeoning searches related to Point of Sale retail searching (e.g., final price comparison shopping via your iPhone while standing in the TV section of Best Buy).

2010 Media Spend: eMarketer's David Hallerman

Display Ad Growth to Outpace Search

Paid search ad spending will grow by nearly 6% to reach more than $11.4 billion in 2010. Marketers will also spend an additional $640 million on search this year, a greater gain than for any other single online ad vehicle.

Overall, the growth of brand advertising in general will be key for the total market's larger growth.

When you view the entire display ad category, which includes banner, rich media, and video formats, an 8.9% growth rate will surpass search. Brand marketers will put an additional $650 million into the various types of display ads, reaching more than $7.9 billion.

Display ads, for all their commoditization, remain a useful tool. Display ads can be seen as insidious, because people don't like them, but it's part of the process of getting attention.

The recession continues to ravage the three main areas for classifieds: employment, real estate and automotive. Furthermore, craigslist continues to divert classified ad money away from local markets, primarily newspapers.

Video Ad Spend Will Boom

Video ad spending growth will far outpace any other online format, mainly for in-stream video ads -- pre-roll and mid-roll -- for two key reasons:

First, in-stream video is most similar to TV commercials, which helps create a comfort zone for traditional marketers and their agencies.

Second, most in-stream video ads will be associated with professional video content, such as on TV network sites or Hulu. This also creates a comfort zone as many brand marketers are still wary of connecting their advertising with unreliable video content.

Video's share [of media spend] will double to over 12% by 2013, but at this point, it's still an experimental mode for many advertisers. This doesn't count video ads or marketing that aren't media buys, the sort of video that a company puts up on YouTube hoping it goes viral or video on a brand site.

Web Analytics Trends: Jim Sterne, founder of eMetrics Summit worldwide

Behavioral Targeting: Standard in Email; Spotty Elsewhere

Email targeting will continue to grow as it is the most straightforward medium to segment and address. Almost all companies that have tried email targeting are reporting significant results, finally making this method of optimization a foregone conclusion.

Ad networks will merely stumble along with behavioral targeting in 2010. The cost-benefit ratio is still being adjusted. As the price goes down, more companies will be willing to try it.

The hardest part about using behavioral targeting for display advertising across a network is the ability to confidently identify results. You've spent X% more on behavioral than on contextual; did you sell more things at a higher profit? That's a tough question, and there may not be a standard way to derive an answer for some time.

"Ecommerce behavioral targeting" is the most complex marketing technology we have to play with. Growth in this area will be spotty in 2010. Multivariate testing is involved and can be free (as in Google Optimizer) but is still costly to implement in terms of knowledge, resources and value confirmation.

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