What we love about marketing is that it is a continually in a state of evolution. From email and mobile to the real-time web, to social acquisition and personalization capabilities, marketing technology innovates and improves.
Through all of this, the best marketing innovations find ways to improve an organizations ability to foster and develop relationships with customers and prospects. In celebrating Neolane’s 10 years of marketing technology innovation we wanted to take a look back at 10 of the greatest marketing innovations of the past decade, in an approximate order of significance.
Read on and we hope you enjoy the look back!
1-to-1 marketing (personalization) refers to marketing strategies applied directly to a specific consumer. With four main steps in the process (identify, differentiate, interact and customize), organizations like Amazon, Nike, and Dell all leverage one-to-one marketing campaigns in their overall marketing mix (source).
Today this may seem very basic, but 10 years ago this was a marketing breakthrough. Today marketers are still finding ways to innovate using 1-to-1 personalization.
Beyond Angry Birds and Farmville, the concept of gamification refers to the use of game design techniques to solve problems and engage audiences. You are seeing this in some respects when you share this post in places like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, by way of the “progress buttons” illustrating the number of shares and likes.
Additional methods of gamification that have become more widely adopted include:
- Achievement “badges”
- “leader boards”
- Virtual currency
Group buying, also known as collective buying, might have been around for centuries, but widespread internet adoption has allowed group buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial to thrive in today’s marketplace. Group Buying offers products and services at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers would make the purchase.
How significant might the concept of group buying be? Consider that Groupon REJECTED a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google in 2010, in an effort to file an IPO.
While social media is interwoven within all of the marketing disciplines discussed, the everyday online user gets social networking. Facebook and LinkedIn lead a growing number of public and private social networking communities, attracting all forms of networking, from purely personal to specific interests.
Consider these statistics on Facebook and other social networking platforms:
- Facebook is the most visited site in the US, accounting for 9.65% of all website visits (source)
- When Google+ opened to the public last week, traffic was up 1,269% in one week, making the site the eighth largest social network on the Internet (source).
- The Google+1 button is being served 2.3 billion times a day all over the web (source)
- “Facebook” is top-searched term overall and four variations of the term “facebook” were among the top 10 terms and accounted for 3.48 percent of searches overall (source)
The Redefinition of Inbound Marketing
It is true that in some marketing resources, inbound marketing refers to marketing research. However in early 2007, Forrester Research used the term “inbound marketing” as a concept describing “use inbound customer interactions as an opportunity to cross-sell and upsell their products and services.”
The most concrete example of inbound marketing success came from the 2008 presidential race, when Barack Obama’s Internet Marketing strategist Chris Hughes leveraged blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more social media platforms, to help build Obama’s campaign, and ultimately winning the Democratic Presidential nomination and election. (source)
While browsing the internet, have you ever felt like the ads for a particular company or brand keep following you from site to site? Maybe those ads even seem like they have nothing to do with the site you’re surfing through as well. That’s retargeting (or remarketing).
For marketers, retargeting provides a more intelligent way to run display advertising for prospects they might otherwise miss once the potential buyer moves along from their website.
According to a case study from Teracent, retargeting campaigns run for Travelocity decreased the cost per transaction by 79%, and earnings increased 133% based on previous benchmarks.
Location Based Marketing
Local search, mobile device adoption, QR codes, online commerce all help lead marketers to the concept of location based marketing. The integration of GPS allows for the accurate detection of a specific location, and mobile computers allow interactive media to be linked, for users to access
The small business is getting invested in location based media. According to Google, 20% of all searches are related to location. Nearly 2 million listings on Google have been claimed by business owners on Google Places in the United States – which still represents only about 15% of small businesses. (source)
Technology innovation has made the internet more accessible and faster for the end user. 68 percent of households have broadband in the United States (source). “Broadband penetration” is now treated as a key economic indicator.
High speed internet has made video more accessible to the masses. According to comScore, in December 2010, 178 million people watched 33.2 billion videos, with the average viewer watching 187 videos per month in the U.S. In August 2010, Youtube and Hulu viewers combined to watch over 7.5 hours of video per month; 20% year over year growth for YouTube and 137% growth for Hulu (source).
User Generated Content
The ability for the user base to create the content that drives website presence has taken off with the emergence of social media. Entering mainstream usage in 2005, almost every major site online has some form of user generated content (UGC) function in today’s marketplace, even if it is only a component of the organization’s online presence.
The ability to enable user generated content is the foundation for how sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have become successful.
Mobile Device Technology
The evolution of mobile device technology completely changes marketing strategy. The adoption of smart phones, tablet computers, and other mobile devices will continue to grow. In the video below, Mary Meeker indicates that smart phones will eclipse PC sales in 2012.
Don’t believe the hype? Consider these numbers and mobile technology related statistics:
- By 2012, there will be 5 billion mobile devices in use, the equivalent of 70% of the world’s population (source)
- 200 million YouTube views occur on mobile devices every day (Microsoft Tag mobile marketing report)
- Apple iOS platform across iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches revealed a combined iOS installed base of 37.9 million users (ComScore)
- Google makes $1 billion in annual mobile ad revenue (Global mobile statistics 2011 via mobiThinking)
- 81% of global executives say they are connected to work through mobile devices all of the time (Korn/Ferry International, August 2006)
Mobile device adoption must become a priority in B2C and B2B marketing strategy. We are in the middle of a complete shift in how people will consume information.
What’s On Your Greatest Marketing Innovations List?
We certainly have not covered everything in the book. From the more technological (cloud computing and the overall move to SAAS) to concepts like digital billboards or more recent developments like the QR code, what makes marketing so amazing is the continued innovation.
What are your thoughts and suggestions? What do you think were the top 3 marketing innovations of the last decade? We would love to read your feedback and recommendations via the comments below.