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Marketing Trends: Tapping Into New Media Outlets

May - 2008
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We've all heard the buzz surrounding popular internet media venues such as You Tube, been among the hoards of people tapping into the virtual phenomenon of social networking sites, and marked Google as our homepage to conduct our internet searches with ease. We also know what happens when high concentrations of people flock to one location - advertisements spring up. They may be subtle at first, appearing sparingly as small banner ads flashing silently along the edges of your screen. Then pop-up boxes emerging out of nowhere, followed by the mandatory preliminary ad spot before you watch an online video clip. They appear as you wait to be redirected from one webpage to the next - brief intermissions, like those of the old drive-in theatres, beckoning you to grab a box of popcorn and some Sno-Caps from the nearby snack counter.

Currently, the dominant force in online advertising remains Search Engine Marketing. Estimated to account for 40% of online ad budgets, SEM is defined by New Media Worldwide as both "advertising and optimization efforts to achieve high visibility of a website for relevant keywords (also referred to as search engine positioning or search engine promotion)". The fastest growing online ad format, however, appears to be advertising spots during video content. This sector is expected to grow by 70% in 2008 alone, according to eMarketer, New York. According to a study by B2B Magazine, web site development was cited by 74% of marketers as their main focus for 2008. Other areas of high concern to marketers include e-mail marketing, search engine marketing, video, webcasting, banner ads, sponsorships, and social media (which includes customer feedback for research and advertising).

But the new media outlets don't stop with the internet. According to a new report from PQ Media, companies will spend more than $160.8 billion in 2012, which is an 82% increase from what it will be this year. This huge expenditure will be filtered into emerging markets such as store-based TV screens, sponsored events, TV and movie product placements, cell phones, video games and digital video recorders, as well as web advertising. Many of these methods are still quite novel and are still undergoing testing for their effectiveness. McDonalds, for instance, is using Cellfire - a mobile service based in California that provides discount coupons on goods and services for cell phone users - for use in regional test in Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada, where they are promoting their new iced coffee beverage. Customers text ‘mcd' or 22888, receive the Cellfire application, and sign up to receive a redemption code that they can present to the cashier.

With all of these emerging marketing opportunities, it might seem difficult to decide where to start implementing them (if any) to work for your own business. Within the metal finishing industry there are already many outlets for online advertising. Finishing Talk, for instance, provides an excellent example for several of the aforementioned web advertising sectors; our website offers banner advertising, e-mail marketing opportunities, and an even larger outlet - the forums! The forums have already been used by many companies to promote new products, post press releases, job opportunities, obtain feedback, and more.

Another new media format is online video. Here, too, the finishing industry is up to speed with new technology; Finishing.TV - the first and only metal finishing IPTV network - offers opportunities for marketing through video. Not only can advertisers purchase commercials or short ad spots to be included in future shows (such as Finishing Talk Live), they can create their own IPTV shows and purchase space for them on the network. In this way, an entire network just for metal finishers is being formed; and we all know that the more content provided, the more viewers will be attracted. Where there are viewers, you can be sure that there will be advertisements!