November 25, 2008 By BJ Cook,
At the end of each year, every publisher puts out their own "year-in-review" report. This time, I'm reading AdAge's Search Marketing Fact Pack 2008. It's full of data from sources like Compete, ComScore, Emarketer, Forrester Research, HitWise, Nielsen Online and SEMPO. It states the obvious that Paid Search budgets are still increasing in the current economic downturn and SEO will continue to gain traction and steal budget from Paid Search. Sad news for all you Paid Search firms. But maybe it's time to diversify your offerings? Again, you can read about who has the most search market share; Google does of course with like 63%. You can see the top keywords for various verticals, what metrics people are tracking, top 25 search marketing agencies based on total revenue and of course ... an advertiser every other page. What do you expect for free? The piece that interested me was that part about what emerging channels were the 223 out of 333 interactive marketers either currently using or planning to use in the coming year. If you review the image, it may not surprise you, but here are the ones that matter if you are building a digital marketing strategy and plan for 2009: (I've combined the following categories - "Not using but plan to" and "Not using and no plan to use")
  • Blogging - 52%
  • Social Networks - 59%
  • User-generated content - 60%
  • Widgets - 71%
  • Mobile Marketing - 72%
  • Game Marketing - 82%
Here's my point of view. If you're working with a "digital marketing agency" and they don't plan on using any of the above aforementioned; it's time to move on. How can you build plans and not look at the new channels that are available to you? Anyone? Bueller? The interesting thing is that 52% of agencies still aren't using blogs as a channel. Are you kidding me? That means that mobile marketing and game marketing still have about 1-2 years to see any real penetration. What does your 2009 digital marketing strategy plan look like? Are you taking risks or just playing it safe?

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