It’s that time of year when everyone is trying to predict how consumers will react in 2010 and beyond as we emerge from the recession.
But, there is no crystal ball needed to see that online marketing tactics are going to need to change in order to keep up with the new consumer buying habits and brand awareness that have developed since the downturn of our economy. However, with these changes comes tremendous opportunities and those that innovate will continue to thrive in the year to come.
Through technology, consumers are becoming more connected and the world is becoming much smaller. In 2009, I observed affiliate marketers invest in social media marketing and other relationship-building techniques on a much larger scale in order to communicate efficiently and in a more transparent manner, to subsequently build trust and consequently, increase sales.
I also spoke to numerous affiliates who were now focusing on creating their own content to add to their sites including words, images, audio and video in an effort to personalize their customer’s shopping experience and garner incremental sales.
For 2010, I see new technologies such as pay-per-call and other off-line tracking initiatives becoming more mainstream, and as such, new marketing opportunities will emerge. Additionally, with the popularity of smartphones increasing (along with download speeds), I believe 2010 may finally be the year where mobile marketing takes off and affiliate marketers really leverage this virtually untapped market.
I believe this will also be the year where smart online merchants, both big and niche that have weathered the 2009 storm will concentrate on solidifying the relationships they have with their affiliates.
See, they know that us affiliate marketers have the advantage over so many other companies and industries. We know how to leverage trends. We’re used to bootstrap-marketing. We know how to fail and rebound swiftly. And yes, we know how to hustle.
These strengths coupled with retailers’ belts continuing to tighten on non-proven ad spends offer up a huge opportunity for the affiliate marketing industry to continue to flourish.
So, what say you? Please share your affiliate marketing industry predictions for 2010.