Trying to fit Internet marketing into your overall marketing plan? Wondering how to allocate your online budget? Need to know which tactics work best today, and what’s ahead for tomorrow? Then check out B2B’s new Interactive Marketing Guide – 2008.
Here are a few highlights, that are especially relevant for technology marketers.
What about the Recession?
“Just like last year, marketers can pick from a slew of interactive channels for reaching their customers and prospects. And just like a year ago, there are analytical tools for measuring how these channels perform, both individually and in concert. What’s different this year is the weak state of the U.S. economy. How will this reality affect marketers’ choices? Dark economic clouds will, in fact, accelerate the shift to digital away from traditional media, notably print, as marketers scale back budgets and seek granular, measurable media. This was the exact finding in BtoB’s exclusive survey of 684 b-to-b marketers, conducted during the last week of January and the first week of February. Of the 29.4% of respondents who said they have revised original 2008 marketing budgets, nearly half (45.3%) said print will see the greatest decline.
Where Online $$ are Spent
“Search continues to be the prime format, in terms of dollars spent ($8.6 billion in 2007 and expected to hit $11 billion this year) and as a percent of total online ad spending (40%). However, two formats beat search in terms of spending growth: Rich media/video will increase 48.9% from 2007, and lead generation, or referrals, will increase 30.9%. Search, by comparison, will grow 27.5%. (eMarketer).
“Video is a particularly compelling way to tell a brand or product story and can be very useful for b-to-b communications, as these businesses tend to be more complex and can require additional explanation.” Online video advertising is projected to grow from $550 million in 2007 to $768 million this year and to $2.3 billion by 2012, according to a JupiterResearch report. Video-based online advertising is a force to be reckoned with and something b-to-b marketers need to get a handle on—and quickly. But as with most emerging technology, said Bobby Tulsiani, an analyst at JupiterResearch who covers online video, getting there isn’t going to be easy for anyone. Today, marketers are taking chances and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to online video, he said. “Creating video marketing is not easy to do— or being effectively done right now,” he explained. “We’re getting a lot better, and there’s lots of investment and experimentation, but it’s all by trial and error.
Virtual Events Deliver Tangible Results
“Virtual events have gone beyond the novelty to gain mainstream adoption,” said Brent Arslaner, VP-marketing at Unisfair, the virtual events producer that worked with Quest on its inaugural online show. The company’s customer base has more than tripled in the past year, he said, with much of that growth coming from enterprise companies interested in putting together product launches and user events.
Corporate activity in the blogosphere has ramped up even as the hype has died down. Recent entries into the blogosphere include Marriott, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and Wal-Mart. Even the Transportation Safety Administration has gotten into the act, giving five midlevel employees the green light to blog on behalf of the organization about the practices that befuddle frequent travelers.
B-to-b marketers are finding that employees can be powerful and persuasive advocates of the company message. Microsoft and Sun both claim to have more than 5,000 employee bloggers, and corporate giants like Southwest Airlines and Kodak have structured their blogging initiatives around ordinary employees and even customers.
The surprise social media winner has been podcasting. Those downloadable radio programs have turned out to be a hit with time-challenged business people.
All great things to think about!