Top 5 Digital Marketing challenges for 2012.

Top 5 Digital Marketing challenges for 2012 ...

We've been discussing the main challenges that we think our Clients need to address (with our help) in 2012 and have come up with a "top 5".

We could easily have lengthened this list to include broader technological changes, such as the battle between Amazon, Google, Apple and others over the digital cloud or the increasing accessibility of the web from more devices & more locations or even the increasing use of HTML5 and NFC technologies etc. However, we wanted to keep the list to those challenges that can be taken on by Marketing decision makers, rather than those that are out of our control.

If you have your own thoughts on what we should have included, then let us know.

1. Invest in creative

In 2011, targeting and buying techniques for digital advertising advanced rapidly, making display campaigns deliver greater ROI. However, in 2012 as this market becomes more normalised, it is going to be even more important to invest in engaging creative too. Display platforms are allowing richer creative, with increasingly larger file sizes, while Adserving costs are becoming less significant. More and more Advertisers are also seeing the value of an "interaction" within creative, rather than relying solely on cost per sale metrics. Video creative is becoming fairly standard. Make sure you budget for this in advance.

2. Cookie legislation

It's not long until May 26th when the new e-privacy directive will come into force. Hopefully by now you have taken on board our thoughts on making progress towards compliance. We'll be posting an updated response to the ICO's latest release shortly. The point is that you must do something to make progress towards compliance. It will be essential to have an updated, much more visible privacy policy and to have a record of what all your website cookies are used for. Make sure your legal team have all the information they need and are comfortable with your status.

3. Real time bidding

With more advertisers embracing real time bidding, we will continue to see larger proportions of display advertising budgets shift from the more traditional methods of buying display media, where advertisers bulk buy impressions at a fixed rate on a fixed site. Real time bidding allows advertisers to differentially value and bid for each individual impression, enabling ad spend to go further, with less budget spent on poorly targeted impressions. Talk to us about our proprietary technology, Kaizen Platform, which facilitates RTB and allows for greater transparency, actionable insights and more control over the performance of your campaigns. Balancing media spend across response driving and brand building display to reach overall KPI's will be important to success.

4. Mobile & Local optimisation

2011 was billed by many as the "Year of Mobile" which in many respects it was as mobile traffic continued to grow. 2012 looks as though it might be the year that many sit up and take this growth seriously. There are lots of studies doing the rounds with some suggesting that mobile and traffic share could hit over 1/5th of all searches by the end of next year. This growth makes it all the more important to ensure that the user on their Smart Phone has the best experience possible with mobile optimised websites and mobile web apps. Hot on the heels of mobile, and in many respects hand in hand, is localisation within search. Google is very much leading the way in local search, with the ever changing SERPS paying testament to their testing. Localisation of campaigns, and the ability to target so specifically, means that over the next 12 months we should expect to see an explosion of local search improvements across all of the networks.

5. Tackling Social & SEO together

Social signals are set to play an ever more increasing role within search engine algorithms in validating quality content. Ensure you are developing content that customers will want to "share" with friends, while also optimising your press releases and engaging in blogger outreach. Quality, engaging content is more likely to get not only links, but social endorsement. Increasingly advertisers are using social environments to manage their customer relationships and build brand. We can help you to find your audiences, listen to the sentiments they are expressing, pro-actively manage any negativity and create relevant, engaging content that will start conversations with them. Get your long-term engagement strategy right and you will see an increase in the effectiveness of all your campaigns.

This post was contributed to by Ryan Webb, Kathryn Jefferies, Jonathan Moore and Mike Sharp.

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