Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Marketing Trends for 2011

As we kick off the new year, the team at DBE has been having lively discussions about how marketing and communications will evolve in 2011. After hearing so many diverse thoughts on the subject, influenced by my colleagues’ unique areas of expertise, I opened up the question to some of the incredibly smart marketers we know and partner with as well.

I asked what are the most important tactics, strategies and ideas that should shape marketing and communications plans in 2011. Here are some insights I thought were especially powerful:


“Definitely, marketers will be looking to incorporate mobile into their mix in 2011. If they haven’t done so already, they will want to develop a mobile version of their website so that key information can easily be found and read, and they will be exploring exciting, new marketing tactics like 2D barcodes, location-based technologies and games, and apps to connect and engage with their customers via their smart phones. Very cool!”

Carl Stoltenberg, President of Howard Design Group


“Experimentation with mobile will be hot on marketers’ New Year’s Resolutions for 2011. While mobile marketing has been around for several years now, like social media a year or two ago, it’s reaching the tipping point of being applicable to a wider swath of businesses. Curiosity and experimentation will reign. We’ll see a lot of missteps, some very public guffaws, lots of follow-on strategizing, and then a fairly swift adoption of mobile as another marketing channel, or, as our VP of Client Services, Marc Engelsman coined, Mocial, because really, mobile and social are increasingly intertwined these days.”

Veronica Fielding, CEO, Digital Brand Expressions


“Quality counts. Design matters. Words regain meaning. PR still packs a punch. Mobile commerce kicks in. iAds everywhere. Write once, run everywhere. Video reigns supreme. And, virtual events go mainstream. These are just a few of the important threads that will continue to shape and redefine brands in 2011 and beyond.”

Christopher Faust, Founder & CEO, Fastlane


“I think 2011 will be a year of marketing experimentation. There are a lot of relatively new avenues; Facebook ads, Twitter, Foursquare and other geo-location services, for example. I think we’re going to get a better picture of which ones will be viable and which ones will fizzle out. With the continued growth of the smartphone market and other portable devices like the iPad, I think a greater emphasis will also be placed on mobile advertising this year.”

Rob Trautner, Manager of Paid Search Programs, Digital Brand Expressions


“Grabbing more mind share is a great way to capture more market share in 2011. While the media landscape has become more fragmented, we have seen how much impact that many "pockets of influencers" can have -- from Mommy Bloggers and Natural Products Fans to traditional Business Editors and Finance Market Analysts. The key is to prioritize your targets, and then weave your company's value proposition into the themes or storylines that are most fitting for their platforms, and most compelling to their audiences. Done right, a thought leadership campaign can provide a significant boost to your products and services marketing programs - building loyalty as much as news sales.”

Kevin McLaughlin, Principal, Resound Marketing


“I believe that YouTube will play into every company’s marketing tactics. YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine for the English speaking language and allows businesses to engage with users on a different level. Create videos this year to highlight a product, generate buzz, and most importantly to spark creativity!"

Megan Mesgleski, Search Marketing Programs Coordinator, Digital Brand Expressions


“First, make sure there is a marketing and communications plan in place - one that includes both strategies and tactics. Too often, organizations get caught up in all of the tactical initiatives they can implement to market themselves, but lose sight of having an overall plan that can be updated and that reflects the basic business goals and objectives of the organization. Francis De Salle once said, “Be who you are and be it well.” In other words, don't try to do everything just to do it – in 2011, use the tools that fit well within the marketing mix for your organization and do them well.”

Irene Maslowski, APR, Maslowski & Associates Public Relations


“In 2011, marketers will refine their integration and differentiation in the social media space. A Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, Twitter account or other profiles can live on their own, but they’re most effective when there is interplay with traditional marketing efforts. It’s more than including “Like us on Facebook” in a brand’s print materials. Marketers will need to ask themselves, what sets my Twitter account or Facebook Page apart from the rest? If you’re not providing value to your customers, then you’re not going to get ahead of the pack.”

Pam Abbazia, Manager of Search & Social Media Programs, Digital Brand Expressions


"The basic communications strategy will remain unchanged in 2011: determine and utilize the most effective means to communicate with end users. While the use of social media will continue to rise as a direct communications tool, traditional indirect communications methods through the press, industry analysts and other industry influencers will remain crucial. It's the combination of these methods that build the foundation for invaluable relationships, and will establish a company as one that listens and has valuable input to contribute to the conversation. "

Kristen Keller, founder, Keller PR


It should come as no surprise to anyone that 2011 will see a dramatic shift to a greater concentration on SEM (SEO and SEA) and Social Media Marketing. For many companies these venues will provide new and more targeted ways to connect with and engage prospects and customers. These combined with more digital marketing efforts will allow advertisers to better measure the effectiveness of their marketing communications efforts. These more contemporary solutions should also reduce expenses when compared to more traditional media deliveries.

However, marketers have to be careful to first develop a sound strategy before simply jumping in with both feet. I have heard so many companies say that they need to have a social media presence without first determining their goals and objectives for the program or how it works into their overall branding and marketing mix. I’ve seen a new level of frustration as marketers face a media that in many cases they are not comfortable with or informed enough about. And, it is inevitable that some of the social sites like Facebook will become ecommerce sites. This will present new challenges for many companies.

For me the bottom line is that there are a lot of advertisers out there who are looking for help. They want to be educated about the opportunities in social media, emarketing, and SEO. Where once agencies were selected more for their conceptual and creative abilities, the criteria for selection will now fall heavily on their ability to teach and inform clients, as well as the implementation of their recommendations.

Bob Gagauf, President – brandwerks3

How do you think marketing and communications will be reshaped in 2011? Tell us on our Facebook Page.

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