The WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Las Vegas opened up today with remarks from founder Brett Tabke, who mentioned that only about 30% of the content of this year’s event are dedicated to search marketing. The rest is made up of social media and other related internet marketing topics. As interests in the industry changes, Pubcon is also evolving.
The opening keynote presentation was done by Shawn Rorick of Cirque du Soleil who talked about the changing media and marketing landscape and how online marketers need to focus on consumers, learn traditional media language and focus not so much on linear marketing but on prioritizing what online marketing tactics make sense in a fragmented web.
The web is getting smarter. Instead of getting search results, we’re getting “recommendations”. The evolution of search is providing innovative ways to discover information.
Online spending today is focused on search, display, rich media and email with largely flat growth for each. Current online media doesn’t account for the massive changes in information expansion and availability.
The future of online media involves: social media search, search, mobile, virtual worlds, widgets, rich media and in-game ads. In-game and mobile advertising are the fastest growing segments within new media according to eMarketer. Mobie, social and widgets are changing the long tail.
The last big jump in internet usage was 2001 and 2003. Now those people have had 5-7 years to get familiar and experienced with the web. The maturity of those users should be considered with web marketing.
The recent presidential campaign offers a good example of social media. McCain used video sharing. Obama used video, in-game ads, blogs, mobile, viral marketing. One viral video effort from MoveOn that benefitted Obama’s campaign and was particularly effective was the CNNBC video that could be customized to any person’s name.
2.9 million U.S. mobile customers received a text message from the Obama campaign, making it the largest mobile campaign to-date.
Old school thinking: Average age of board of directors of major companies is 55+. Once the old school retires, the next generation gets in.
In 1995 the advertising world split between online and offline. Now they’re coming back together due to acquisitions and mergers of old school media and new media. Also, the formats are comparable. For example: telemarketing and mobile marketing or outdoor advertising and in-game advertising.
“Halo Media” encompasses what media fragmentation is all about. Users decide when, where and how they consumer their media. This results in a cluttered environment. Marketers need to figure out where to best place their media for best impact. Traditional web marketing is very linear. A cluttered environment requires marketers to create a circle of presence around the web site/company.
A key question for online marketers is where to spend their time and what media deliver the best impact? Measurement is critical and not all shiny web 2.0 objects are applicable. Forget traditional marketing rules.
Online marketers need to get closer to understanding traditional media: formats, metrics, etc. Get involved with new media conferences and interactive marketing groups. Ask lots of questions. Be somewhat transparent about what you’re doing. It will take competitors 6 months to catch up anyway. Always put yourself in the users’ shoes.
In the digital marketing age, web marketers are the trendsetters and opinion leaders. Marketers need to question, test and define new web media technologies.