Online advertisers are being told that their market is set to expand significantly in 2008 as new tools and methods are developed to help make the technique more measurable and effective, according to interactive marketing agency Performance Communications Group (PCG).
The company's executive vice president of interactive marketing, Scott Madlener, has predicted five e-marketing trends for 2008:
1. Intelligent banner ads will address the problems of poor campaign management. Media buyers who demand more control and disclosure about where, when and why their budgets are being spent will look to a new generation of banner ads that incorporate more intelligence, better multimedia, and more secure data capture. Media companies and ad networks will therefore be forced to mature their offerings to provide more value to both the advertiser and user alike.
2. Online advertising will evolve into "social advertising". Facebook is leading the charge in what could be the next evolution of online advertising. By uniting advertisers with social network members, Facebook has created a system in which the members themselves promote the products, not the suppliers. Word-of-mouth advertising - traditionally the best form of advertising because it involves personal recommendations - is difficult to predict, but with access to thousands of network members, scaling up may no longer be a problem and may instead prove to be difficult to contain.
3. Single purpose marketing applications will become increasingly possible. 2008 may well be the year of the "widget" for advertisers. Core operating systems and hardware have matured in 2007, enabling developers to create single purpose mini-applications (such as toolbars, widgets and rich media applications) that offer marketers new branding opportunities and that build customer engagement, interaction, and loyalty.
4. Podcasts and other content will become mainstream. The iPhone and other mobile platforms have ushered in a new era of mobile devices. While iPods and other mobile media players have been around for many years, 2008 may finally provide the necessary economic scale for content providers. In addition to ring tones, Podcasts, and other new media, content solutions should become mainstream in 2008.
5. Indirect distribution will dominate video consumption. Video has been a hot topic during 2007 with iTunes and YouTube dominating the direct video distribution market. However, as more companies start to use RSS and video web services, these forms of indirect video distribution (e.g. podcasts, YouTube's web service for iPhone and AppleTV, as well as private supply channel video feeds for B2B communications) may now become the dominant means of online video distribution and consumption.
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