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Marketing- Emerging Trends

By Rachel Johnson

Everyone knows that the Internet age has changed the way we all experience, store, and share information. For marketing professionals, this opens up many new options for putting together communications strategies. It also means that keeping a constant ear to both domestic and global change can only be good for business.

Advertising in a "more connected" world today extends far beyond banner ads on websites- between RSS feeds, direct-to-desktop technology, podcasts, and text messaging, consumers encounter more information than they can possibly process, from high speeds and multiple directions. Moreover, consumers are increasingly able to control what they do receive- for example, by allowing only certain companies to send text-message advertisements to their cell phone. Marketers must learn how to manage these channels efficiently and how to use them in even more creative ways, in order to earn and hold the consumer's attention. And social networking websites- phenomena like Facebook and MySpace- can now be used for social marketing. This, experts say, means getting inside consumers' networks of trust by writing blogs, starting Facebook groups, and posting useful, personal information on specific sites. One well-targeted Facebook group, for example, can spread "virally" between friend networks to a membership of thousands.


Customers First

Just as buyers can access more facts and figures, they also have more control over their relationship to producers. Noisy consumer blogs, for example, can make or break a product. This means that a huge part of the new global era of marketing will actually be very personal: learning how to understand demographics beyond just age and gender groups, and approaching consumers on a new, more intimate level. New and cheaper market-research tools such as Alexa, Google Trends, and BlogPulse enable the marketing divisions of almost any company to analyze data about web behavior. But at the same time, the shortened attention span that makes grabbing customers so difficult also means that traditional means of gathering demographic data are much more difficult than in the days of patient survey-takers-so market researchers, not just product managers, also have to adapt.


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