2010 – What did we learn?

Author: Hamish Anderson

We are now 11 days into 2011 and well into the year. Most people I know are back at work, and the memories of the silly season are slowly being forgotten as people begin to realise the year ahead needs to be planned out and prepared for.

Having read a few blogs and articles already posted and written about 2011, it seems that the popular thing to do is focus on what to expect from 2011 (be that technological advancements, trends or similar). Having read them, I think many of them are useful and insightful – but I am postulating that in planning for 2011, we as marketers should be doing one other key thing; reflecting on key aspects of 2010, learning from these and only then making decisions for 2011.

Thus, below I have summarised some of the key events which I believe have revolutionised the marketing and communications landscape and which will have significant bearing on the year that will be 2011.

It’s all about being Social

Though 2009 saw the rise of social networking, 2010 saw continual growth in the number of users and in the diversity of use of social media. New figures compiled this week found that on average in any 2 hours of 2010 (http://blogs.cisco.com/socialmedia/things-that-happen-in-social-media-in-2-hours/)

  • 25,000 new users joined Twitter
  • 5.4 million tweets were sent
  • 5 million new status updates were published on Facebook
  • 1.6 million Facebook applications were installed
  • 167 million videos on YouTube are viewed

These figures are just mind boggling really. And these are the figures which focus on 3 social media platforms only. With other major platforms in existence, the figures above represent only a portion of the social activity which is shaping the way people interact. Throw into the equation the fact that people are relying more and more on social media and the opinions of those they interact with prior to making any purchasing decisions, and it is evident that the marketing landscape has changed. The challenge which arises from this for businesses is: “How can they meaningfully partake in the conversation”. Answer this, and you are one step closer to planning 2011.

Search: Content Relevancy and Social Relevancy

In 2010 the emphasis shifted from pure content delivery to one of active engagement, based purely on the rise of social media. Given the above social media usage figures, its’ really no surprise that social media posts have started to have relevancy within search engine algorithms. In late December 2009, Google announced that Google search would now include social media posts and news articles, bringing the relevancy of searches to new levels. Google even launched www.google.com/realtime as a dedicated portal where individuals can perform searches and see real time results only.

Further testament to the rise in popularity of social media relevancy is the fact that in 2010, figures showed that Twitter had the 2nd most number of searches performed on its site (and through affiliates) of any search engine, behind Google, and ahead of Bing! and Yahoo. Research has shown that people are using social media to conduct research prior to purchase decisions. What this has meant through 2010 and now into 2011, is that businesses must consider not only content relevancy on their site, but social relevancy of their brand as a whole and what it is that the market and the press is saying about them.

On the other hand however, although real time search results have been elevated in importance on search pages, the market has not completely discounted the value of other search results.  Furthermore, social media and social chatter has not pervaded every industry completely, meaning the opportunity for well constructed SEO campaigns is as strong as ever. Therefore it remains as important as ever that businesses construct and maintain a strong SEO campaign. This will be as important as ever moving into 2011. However, emphasis will also need to be given to social relevancy and the efforts business makes in partaking in the conversation.

Media Convergence

Whilst the concept of media convergence has been in existence for a few years, it was in 2010 that the concept became a part of life and a new and heavily contested market. 2010 will be a year remembered as the year:

  • Apple introduced the iPad
  • The dominance of the iPhone was attacked by a myriad of other producers
  • Android platform
  • Research in Motion platform
  • TV manufacturers began to integrate internet browsing ability to their screens

These three events alone revolutionised life for consumers (and promise to continue to do so) and through this, for the way marketing is conducted. In many ways, media convergence has driven and influenced much of the activity outlined in the above 2 points. That is to say, the ability for individuals to access the internet from their mobile phone, to post to Twitter or Facebook, to receive feedback and to generally stay in touch with others is unparalleled as compared any other time in our history. Thus individuals as consumers are now in a more powerful position than ever before. Content is literally at their fingertips.

Marketers have had to respond accordingly, and will continue to need to do so, on an ongoing basis. In 2010, innovative companies rose to the challenge, launching new apps, or new marketing programs, aimed at targeting the media savvy and converged media audience. Just look at The Australian newspaper which worked with Apple to launch Australia’s first iPad ready publication. Whether or not it was universally accepted and applauded, is not as important as the fact that it opened up a whole new medium and marketing channel for users.

With the rise of converged media and the growing improvements in geo-targeted advertising, it is inevitable that marketers will need to improve and refine the way they communicate with their target audience. Timely delivery of information which adds meaning to the user interaction is going to be of growing importance to the marketplace as a whole. 

Takeout: Integration is Key

So what were my takeouts from 2010 as regards marketing? In one word: Integration. Failure to integrate marketing channels, failure to integrate with your audience, and failure to integrate feedback from your audience with your ongoing marketing will cause your business to miss huge opportunities which exist within the market. Successful integration however, offers huge opportunity for savvy marketers.

Moving into 2011 it is critical that you look at the activities you undertook in 2010 and work to understand how the influences of the market and technology worked to change the marketplace as a whole. With this understanding you will be better placed to determine what marketing activities you should be considering, and better placed to predict what may come from 2011. The links below are some of the better blogs written about the predictions for 2011 and these may also help you plan ahead.

Happy 2011 everyone!

2011 Predictions

Having researched and read a nuber of different articles, the common predictions for 2011 include:

  • Integration
  • Increased use of an ever evolving Cloud environment
  • Increased online transactions
  • Increased reliance on smart phone
  • Geo-targeted advertising

And some interesting blogs for you to review if interested…


About 2binteractive
2BInteractive is an independent digital marketing agency, with all the experience and results of a global agency... without the unwanted overhead. We have the talent and individual expertise to meet all of your digital channel needs. For more information. Visit us at http://www.2BInteractive.com.au/

One Response to 2010 – What did we learn?

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