It recently dawned on me that I seem to be waking each morning either petrified or inspired about the digital marketing industry.
I voiced this thought at a recent meet up of digital marketers and it seemed to resonate with other people too.
Every day there seems to be a new demon to contend with, Google changes its mind again, the EU tries to flex its muscles or the whole economy lurches further into crisis.
But alongside the fear, the changes and developments create new and exciting opportunities, so I’d like to share three ‘scary’ and three ‘enthusing’ things that have recently played their role in my Halloween nights.
Google’s move to SSL
Google’s decision to stop passing the search term for signed in users means that marketers will no longer be able to see the keywords that bring visitors and buyers to their site.
Not only is this a big blow to measurability at a time when techniques are getting more sophisticated but the inconsistent treatment of PPC over SEO seems like a very worrying sign indeed.
EU Cookie Directive
An ill thought out intervention that pulls the whole industry backwards and fails to address the real privacy issues at hand.
Behavioural marketing, one of the key growth areas in this industry and this country, will be particularly affected. Why on earth are we (the EU members) trying to put in place laws that make us less competitive on the global scale?
It seems crazy that at a time of austerity and weak growth, decisions are made to make our lives harder in an industry that is one of only a few that are showing real signs of progress.
The speed people progress in this industry
It isn’t uncommon for someone to become head of search or PPC with just a few years’ experience. Although this fast progression can encourage talent into the industry there is the argument that this is a sign that there is a lack of quality and depth of available resources.
Digital businesses need to invest more in setting up their own intern and graduate programs and work with local universities to bring the brightest talent into this industry to ensure there isn’t a skills shortage further up the career path.
Things that wake me up full of enthusiasm:
This one is close to my heart; Attribution has been around for at least six years but 2011 seems like the year when it’s really taken hold.
Marketers are increasingly analysing the paths to conversion and giving credit to the channels that contribute along the path and not just to the last interaction. This comes from both an increase in knowledge and advances in the technologies that can facilitate it.
It will become increasingly important and challenging as the distinction between online and offline channels is blurred.
New marketing channels
There are new marketing channels being launched all the time with lots of opportunities opening up for marketers. In particular, remarketing has re-invigorated online display advertising and increases CTR and conversion rates significantly.
Multichannel marketing is now really starting to take off and how advertisers measure, analyse and optimise presents a world of opportunity. The companies that succeed in doing this will be the most successful.
Online and offline channels are increasingly being viewed as one in both sales and marketing. Offline advertising consistently invites customers to buy online by using their website or Facebook page as the call to action, and many offer a collect in-store service that means customers convert offline.
Of course, there are challenges in exactly how you join them together, and all businesses are different, but it is exciting to see some companies begin to do this and improve their marketing based on these new insights.
So at this bone chilling time of year what are the horror stories keeping you awake at night, or the things that are waking you up so enthused that you can’t wait to get going?