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Top 5 Online Marketing Predictions for 2009

December 27th, 2008

Business Model is King

What goes around comes around! With 2008′s collapse of the web 2.0 economy, business models based on monthly earnings, not potential, will be king. For the last few years companies continued to build business models based on being bought out by the bigger fish. Getting venture capital was once as easy as getting a subprime mortgage, and those days are over. Having a gross profit margin in the black will be gold, and businesses will continue to layoff until lean and mean. Another unfortunate consequence will be a decline in new web 2.0 ideas and free services. What this means for marketing firms is to be successful don’t just jump on the first client willing to save them in selling their product.  Listen to their business model and how you can find them a strategy that works.  If the numbers don’t make sense then it might not make sense to have them as a client who eventually cancels.  Better to take on a small client who can expand if their business model makes sense.

Web 3.0 Will Not Occur This Year

Everyone seems to keep wishing that web 3.0 will come save the day of the cliche of web 2.0. Unfortunately this will not occur and a huge slowdown of new web 2.0 concepts and services will occur. Valuations of current companies utilizing web 2.0 technologies are plummeting already and unfortunately getting lots of traffic does not mean a profitable business. Traffic can only go so far and in an economy based on the bottom line, venture capitalists are thinking twice about how beneficial that new web 2.0 widget is and the development costs associated with it. At best we will probably see a year of web 2.0 recycling and refinement of design and user experience.

Keyword Prices Will Go Up

Keyword bid-prices seem to go up every year anyways, but those looking for a break this year will be disappointed. As print and high-cost brand advertising will shift to spend more in trackable ROI’s such as PPC and SEO, this shift will increasingly drive up the cost of competitive keywords. Even if some companies cut their monthly spend, the need for quality leads will push keyword prices higher as companies will become even more competitive. Though google will probably see a decrease in overall spend from campaigns due to companies shifting to email publishers and affiliate networks, they will surely make up for the costs ahead of the long tail getting inflated. Top 10 rankings in Google and a viable SEO strategy based on ROI should also become increasingly competitive.

Quality of Design and User Experience Will Improve Dramatically

As Web 2.0 cools off this will leave a glut of designers and developers willing to cut costs in order to make an extra buck. Businesses and startups with a need for a redesign of their website should be able to gain a competitive price from expert designers who normally would have charged and arm and a leg. Expect user experience and landing page design to be big as well in order to improve conversions from PPC campaigns and general site traffic.

Viral Marketing Campaigns Will Die

As companies continue to slash all non-converting marketing, budgets for viral campaigns will also seem too risky for the price. No longer will experiments in traffic generation get approved by the marketing manager now faced with a shrunken budget. Lookout for free social media sites, and content that is actually worth being viral, to be a hit this year. In other words, if you don’t have anything interesting to say good luck!