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Ah, December. For many media folks it is a month of fat lunches and the parties. It used to be like that for me too, until we launched our Innovation Awards a couple of years ago.
Since then December has turned into a month of hardcore reading. Our in-house judging panel (me, CEO Ashley Friedlein and Research Director Linus Gregoriadis) spent the majority of the month poring over the 350+ entries, checking out sites and apps, and generally trying to make sense of things.
Last year was a great year for innovation, based on what we read. There are some amazing things going on in our industry.
Following are my personal views on what will be interesting and important in the world of digital marketing and e-commerce for 2011.
I haven’t given extensive justification for any of these. It’s just what I feel to be likely from my many conversations with industry influencers.
I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts, or feel free to post a link to your own predictions.
Last year was a transitional year for most of the industry and now the traction of these changes are likely to take hold on the cold hard surface of consumer engagement.
Not to foreshadow any impending doom, but many of us are likely to see elemental change happen faster in this coming year than ever. And though it appears I waited until after the year turned, I blame my iPhone alarm clock and its 2011 bug.
I’ve been working with small charities and have been struck by the struggle they face when planning what do to with their websites. The big brand national charities have the luxury of employing web managers but smaller local charities don’t have the budget and there is often no in-house experience. So what should they do?
A website is essential to get mindshare even if it’s not driving direct revenue, so I started to think of a hit list small charities could work from to get their websites beyond the purely functional.
Placing posts on high-authority blogs that include links to your own pages is a sure-fire way to boost your website’s organic optimisation.
Gaining sought-after link juice by negotiating guest blogging slots on popular websites can be a really powerful weapon in your search engine optimisation (SEO) tool kit. So powerful in fact, that many corporations and SEO execs are very willing to pay in order to secure the link.
But it’s now looking bleak for anyone who relies on paid-for placement, with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) taking an interest back in December.
Remember the fanfare when Wired launched its first iPad app, and the frenzy that ensued once Conde Nast announced it had been downloaded over 100,000 times?
Publishers need to swallow the fact that Wired's success was an anomaly, and it isn't likely to be repeated unless the current app development and pricing strategies change dramatically.
The proof? According to stats from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), iPad app sales for the top publishers, including Wired, declined over the course of 2010.
Google's Android operating system may be a prominent fixture in the mobile world, but when looking at the app economy within it, Android is having a hard time competing with Apple and iOS.
One big reason: Android Market, Google's online marketplace for Android applications.
Ask many consumers why they've stopped purchasing dead tree publications like newspapers, and chances are you'll hear comments like "the cost is too high."
Ask those same consumers what they expect when it comes to the digital/tablet versions of their newspapers of choice, and you'll probably learn that they expect the cost to be lower. And for good reason: there's no paper and ink to buy; the marginal cost of selling an issue of a newspaper on an iPad is pretty close to $0.
The Gawker hack, in particular, has garnered a lot of attention because the hackers seem most interested in humiliating the popular blog. They have released the emails and passwords of more than 1m of Gakwer's registered users.
Enforcing copyright online has proven to be quite difficult. More than a decade after Napster brought the subject of digital piracy into the mainstream, content owners are still struggling to protect their rights on the internet. They have finally learned one thing though: suing grandmothers (and dead grandmothers) doesn't work.
So what are content owners doing? It appears they are turning their attention to a more receptive audience: politicians.
Many advertisers, agencies, and technology providers face their biggest challenge in 2011: how to innovate and keep pace with the dynamic and every changing digital landscape.
Going into 2011 advertisers and agencies will need to adapt, embrace innovation, new technologies and structure for changes in the way that display is purchased and managed. Data, inventory, demographics, audience segmentation and behavioural retargeting are all vital components in the rise of demand side platforms (DSPs).
The market for blogging and microblogging services is quite competitive, but one of the simplest, Tumblr, has also managed to build a large and loyal following.
But keeping up with that large following as it grows is proving to be tough, and after experiencing 24 hours of downtime the other day, some are questioning whether more tumbles will take their toll on user loyalty.