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What’s Next For Online Marketing?

Consider this; the Internet as we know it is only around twenty years old and Internet giant, Google, was only created in 1998, so no matter how comfortable we are in using the internet, it is important to remember that it is only in it’s infancy. Despite its drastic impact upon culture and commerce in that time, its limits are still unknown. With the introduction of electronic mail, instant messaging, VoIP calls, and the World Wide Web’s discussion forums, blogs, social networking and e-Commerce sites, the Internet has forever transformed the way we handle business.

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With online marketing consultancy being a relatively new phenomenon, we should consider what could be the future of this already illustrious business. As the Internet continues to develop, there is little doubt that the future of online marketing agency relevance is bright.  With more and more people catching on to the value of the digital revolution, it is important for your online marketing agency to remember that the sophistication of the user has also grown.

It is clear that the once popular banner ads are on their way out as they now produce rapidly declining click through rates due to the user becoming savvy to online advertising. E-mail marketing now also suffers, as users are wary of SPAM and catching a virus.

However, one of the world’s top 50 marketers, David Chaffey, still recognises the importance of e-marketing, saying,

“Many companies miss the opportunity of email monitoring to address, track and follow-up individual customers as part of a communications strategy. I admire all companies who had the foresight to resource projects outside their frenetic campaign strategy and develop a communications strategy, which welcomes and engages customers through structured rules to help deliver relevance.”

The dominant models of Internet marketing now includes search engine marketing, SEO will be important to any business for as long as people use Google (and the like) as the opportunity for traffic volumes is unmatched by other strategies.

PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising has a less clear future, as it suffers with click fraud. This happens when the paid for clicks are used up by false click-throughs, intended only to cost the advertiser money, rather than of genuine interest. It has even been estimated that the percentage of fraudulent clicks could be as high as 40% – a huge waste of an advertising budget.

David Chaffey recently spoke about what he thinks will become essential in online marketing,

“Everyone is hungry to find out what’s new and try new approaches. It’s why many of us enjoy working in digital marketing. But better results will mostly be achieved by applying existing approaches better and this is often hard graft. There is definitely a tick-box mentality – we need Facebook, tick; Twitter, tick; video; tick – but the reality is, the best returns will always be from using the existing, primary channels like search and email better. So I could talk about developments in social media, mobile, video or the semantic web, but I just don’t think they are big in terms of impact for most brands. Sure they can boost niche startup companies, but not the type of established brands I work with.

I was discussing this recently with a marketer for a travel brand, and their focus was “back-to-basics” simply making the key channels such as search and email work better in integrating with the site and offline activity. And this isn’t simple; search, email and web can always be optimised more.”

In light of the above comments, we can expect for SEO to continue as the dominant online marketing method. In contrast, we imagine that PPC will morph into a tactic that is used in conjunction that monitors click fraud. Information marketing, and the publishing of free copyright articles, could also become increasingly dominant. These three platforms represent a solid future for Online Marketing, however it is impossible to predict what the next Internet hit will be. Who would have foreseen the impact of Facebook, Twitter or eBay ten years ago!

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