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Brands, Blogs & Search in 2006

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The Magazine DM News publishes a supplement called “Outlook” each year that collects interviews and articles from some of the leading direct marketers and their perspectives on the coming year in direct marketing.

Executive Editor, Mickey Alam Khan has provided a list of trends that coincides well with what we’re seeing “on the ground”. A few trends related to search and blog marketing:

  • Buzz marketing or word of mouth will be big – at least the buzz about buzz marketing will be big
  • Ecommerce will emphasize “interactions not transactions” per Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli
  • Mergers are acquisitions of direct, interactive, search and email marketing agencies will rise. This notion is supported by a recent report from AdMedia Partners (pdf).
  • Marketers will increasingly turn to the Internet for branding – Also see: (PPC BrandingBrand or Demand SEO)
  • Google needs to be careful of becoming another Microsoft
  • Blogs and consumer generated content will proliferate
  • Search, email and public relations will receive more marketing dollars (Am seeing this already)
  • Print catalogs become more of a print showroom for online inventory and sales
  • BtoB print pubs lose readers and advertisers to the web

Of particlular interest are M&A of search firms, Internet branding, blogs and search/PR getting more marketing dollars. We’re seeing these now in our daily interactions. How?

As niche as my SEO firm is, we get contacted every 2 months or so from business brokers that want to “be in our corner” should we decide to go public or sell. I suspect this is more common with many larger SEO/SEM firms – particularly SEM agencies.

An increasing number of clients and prospects we talk to are interested in the branding opportunities through search, blog marketing and online PR. More companies are willing to allocate increased budgets towards online brand reputation monitoring and brand building. It will be important to watch how the metrics develop in this space.

While trends like these foster a certain amount of optimisim, there’s still a lot of work ahead before any significant dents are made in traditional advertising budgets.

Lee Odden is President and Founder of
TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog
marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search
marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and
The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs
with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing
expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering
daily news, interviews and best practices.

Brands, Blogs & Search in 2006
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About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a digital marketing and public relations firm in Minnesota that specializes in search, social and online PR consulting and training for companies worldwide. Odden has been cited for his internet marketing expertise over the past 10 years by the Economist, Forbes and U.S. News and contributed a chapter to the book, "Online Marketing Heroes" published by Wiley. For the past 5 years he has also been the editor of TopRank's Online Marketing Blog, a Technorati 100 favorite blog and one of the top marketing blogs according to Advertising Age. WebProNews Writer
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