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.

Horror
stories

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:

    Attribution 

    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.

    Joined-up channels 

    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?