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Digital marketing is here to stay longer

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New Year is here. The whole world is absorbed in the spirit of merrymaking, welcoming it in one or the other unique way. However, one inimitable thing that always accompanies every new year is — the bout of articles and blogs debating the probable developments and inclinations for the succeeding months across diverse industries. This year is
no exception.
One thing is sure that this year will be dominated by the marvels of technology, giving us enough reasons to explore the dynamics of online marketing.
As we have started spending more time in the company of smart-phones, tablets and high-tech wearables as compared to past few years, one field of business that is undergoing a king-size transformation is marketing. Undoubtedly, no business is on this earth can afford to ignore the strength of this particular segment, thereby making it one of the most rapidly evolving entities.
Buoyed with unprecedented growth of smart as well as mobile devices, one of the foremost challenges for all big brands is to stay connected to their existing and potential customers through these devices. Another inevitable challenge that brands are facing is to formulate interesting campaigns through technology tools across social media; parading advertisements and e-commerce.
The simple phenomenon that started with the sprouting of term ‘e-commerce’ or ‘electronic commerce’, which includes online display and purchase of products, has now grown into a widespread sensation — a sensation that is sweeping the business corridors with a mighty storm. Consequently, record growth of e-commerce has created an immediate need of a potent marketing tool that speaks beyond the traditional approaches.
This market scenario offers enough scope for online or digital marketing to spread its wings and grow manifold. What started from mere text messages and emails has now grown into a multi-faceted phenomenon touching the lives of individuals 24X7.
A recent report from ZenithOptimedia says that online domain already dominated advertisement expenditure in Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK in 2014. By 2017, it will do so in another five markets; China, Finland, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. Together, these 12 markets constitute nearly 28 percent of global advertisement spending across all vehicles.
An interesting finding establishes mobile as the main driver of the internet’s growing market share. According to a report, mobile’s global share of advertisement spend is likely to grow over twice from 5.1 percent to 12.9 percent, contributing to nearly 70 percent of overall global ad spend growth. Mobile is followed by television and desktop internet.
Initially, the term digital marketing was used in 1990s but in mid-2000s it became more urbane as well as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer. However, it traces its roots to the mid-1980s when the SoftAd Group, now ChannelNet, came up with an advertising campaign under which they sent floppy disks, containing multimedia content promoting various automobile brands and offering free test drives, to potential customers.
Due to the fact that digital marketing is dependent largely on technology, which is emerging with every passing day, the same emergence phenomenon is expected in the landscapes of digital marketing in 2016.
Digital marketing’s two areas that will be of huge interest in 2016 will be segmentation and online behavioural advertising.
Segmentation focuses on breakdowns within digital marketing, in order to aim exact markets in both business to business and business to consumer areas. Whereas online behavioural advertising involves gathering details about user’s online activity over a period of time. This is evaluated over a particular device and across different websites. It helps companies to offer ads specially tailored to particular user’s likings.
Remarketing is also expected to garner the attention of advertisers in 2016 as it helps the brands to put theirs ads in front of the targeted audience while they are browsing their favourite websites.
Online marketing in 2015 has moved at startling pace, and it felt like every week a new update, a new piece of hardware, new software, new start-ups or a new tool was released. It certainly makes it an exciting world for anyone who is keen to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, and 2016 appears set to continue at a similar pace.
Dubai-based Prototype — a digital agency specialised in designing and developing interactive solutions, has continuously worked with leading brands from various industries across the region and contributed to shaping their digital presence.
With dedicated departments specialising in online marketing, sitefinity consulting, online user experience and mobile solutions, Prototype caters to medium to large businesses that are planning to digitally transform and innovate.
Emirates Business speaks to Alexander Rauser, Chief Executive Officer of Prototype, to discern some of the upcoming trends in 2016 that are expected to make things really interesting in the online marketing world.

Excerpts from the interview

How do you look at the domination of mobile in this field?
The last year was huge for mobile. Mobile traffic surpassed desktop in many countries around the world and Google released their Mobilegeddon algorithm update in April, a change designed to penalise websites considered non-mobile friendly. The result of these changes is a mobile-first state of mind for many forward thinking businesses. As users develop a much more fragmented user journey involving several touch-points, developing a multi-channel strategy with a heavy focus on mobile is very important.

Does app indexing encompass potential to rule online marketing world?
App indexing came into the spotlight in 2015, despite being around for a while, and it is bound to become an even more prominent feature of online marketing in 2016. There are many predictions that suggest that the mobile web will soon be exceeded by mobile apps, and with this will come a more complex ranking system for apps. Although this may not happen by 2016, a steady adoption of apps by many more business owners will be a trend throughout the year.

What role wearable could play in endorsing brands via online marketing?
Year 2016 will be an exciting one in terms of wearable tech and how businesses will manipulate the data produced from old and new wearable devices. Consumers, particularly millennials, are looking for devices that are more forthcoming with information to help them improve their daily lives. Wearables will begin to change the landscape of digital by offering more personalised experiences for users based on their data. Instead of app notifications, businesses could use wearable devices to notify users when they are close by to a store hosting a sale and so on.

Do you feel marketing automation could facilitate brands to achieve optimal conversion rate among purchasers?
This year marketers are expected to get much more intricate with their campaigns, targeting users with a much more personalised outreach. This is because the user has grown to expect this, and brands will find that users only click, and respect advertisements that appeal to them on a personal level. The tools will be there to help and as their algorithms develop and advance, marketers will be able to determine the optimal time to deliver and message individuals to drive the highest conversion rate.

Suddenly, many big brands have started focusing on video advertising? How do you look at its scope in 2016?
Video advertising is nothing new; however, now that Google is contemplating video advertising within SERP (search engine result page) results, it is certainly more and more valuable. Naturally, this aligns with the fact that Google owns YouTube, and also that users are becoming more comfortable with video advertising. It will be interesting to see how video advertising will develop throughout 2016.

Alexander Rauser CEO of Prototype copy

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Marketing automation

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Software developer Brian Ho holds a Google Glass device at Vandrico, a Canadian company specializing in wearable computing, during a demonstration for the media in North Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday July 30, 2013. The company is developing software for the device which is one of only a few in the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck ORG XMIT: VCRD107

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