Optify Forecasts Trends For Marketing and Social Media in 2012
Leading Online Marketing Software Company Identifies Five Key Predictions that Will Shape the Industry
SEATTLE, WA – December 02, 2011 – Optify, the leading provider of online marketing software and services for the real time web, today announced its top five 2012 predictions based on insights from customers, analysts, and partners.
The past year saw many new developments in online marketing, including evolving organic and paid search landscape, convergence of social media and search marketing, growth of mobile and local searches, and a rapid rise in spending on social media marketing using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Online marketers have only begun to explore and respond to these new opportunities.
In this evolving landscape, Optify’s top predictions include:
- Mainstream Organizations Adopt Marketing Automation & Social CRM
Marketing automation has traditionally consisted of email and email nurturing. However, 2011 witnessed the expansion of Social CRM, enabling another channel to reach and interact with customers and it has become one of the fastest growing segments within the CRM industry. In the next year, Social CRM will evolve from an early adopter strategy into a mainstream solution for organizations wanting to connect marketing operations from the top of the funnel, to online search, down through sales and customer management. Companies that learn how to adopt and implement these solutions will more effectively be able to reach and engage with their customers and have a clearer path to a positive sales and marketing ROI.
- Social Media Becomes an Increasing Factor in Search Algorithms
Social media networks are growing. In 2011, Facebook’s social signals were integrated into Bing search and Google+ emerged with native integration into Google search. Companies also started using social media in earnest and began experimenting with ways to influence their rankings using these social factors. In 2012, Optify expects this trend to continue with social media becoming more of a key component of Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms. For companies looking to preserve or improve their rankings, social marketing activities will no longer be optional; they will be a necessary element of traffic driving success.
- Customers and employees become an extended part of companies’ marketing teams
As social networks are used ever more frequently for aggregating and sharing interests, expect opinions, both positive and negative, about products and services to spread with lightening speed. As a result, businesses customer relationships will become increasingly focused on creating and managing perceptions. In 2010, companies began listening to customers wants and needs via social buzz. In 2011, they focused on responding to digital customer commentary. In 2012, companies will need to proactively scale their marketing efforts by creating and sharing information with employees and influential customer evangelists to help define their brands, products and services from the ground up. Salesforce.com’s recent extension of their Chatter feature, allowing businesses to share information and files with their customers through a hosted network, is early evidence of this.
- Mobile + Social Evolve Together to Create New User Scenarios
Customer interactions and purchases, in specific marketplaces such as travel, shopping and dining, will occur with increasing frequency on mobile devices. A recent study found a third of all American adults utilize smartphones and that number is expected to rise in the coming year. Travel related click-through-rates are already higher on mobile devices than on PCs and location-based marketing fueled by companies like FourSquare will continue to soar. Online purchasing is indisputably moving to mobile. Google estimates 44% of last-minute online shopping searches will come from Smartphones and tablets. This holiday, the majority of last minute shopping transactions are expected to take place on mobile devices. This creates an opportunity for marketers to zoom in on specific and unique user scenarios they may not have been able to address using pure traditional online marketing tactics.
- Facebook platform grows and expands into new markets
Facebook‘s IPO in 2012 is estimated to surpass Google’s IPO (1.67 billion in 2004) with a goal of raising $10 billion. This should fund quite a bit of expansion. With a large infusion of IPO cash and the potential to create social shopping experiences, Facebook will be well positioned to give online retailer Amazon a run for its money. While analysts have begun speculating Amazon will launch a Smartphone in 2012, Facebook will likely do the same. These visionary companies see that the mobile phone is quickly becoming the portal to purchase; an opportunity to get in front of customers before they’ve even arrived online or a physical store. Facebook, along with their competitors, will be vying to put their products and services in their users’ hands first. Expect Facebook to also leverage ‘other people’s work’ to build a developer ecosystem similar to Salesforce.com, Amazon and Google’s Android marketplace to capture the innovation of others to help expand their platform.
“Success for marketers in 2012 will be based on their ability to embrace and implement integrated online, search, and social marketing campaigns,” said Anthony Joseph, VP Marketing of Optify. “Experimentation with emerging mediums will be warranted, but an integrated solution that measures ROI and return on effort across these various channels will be critical to know what’s working and what isn’t.”