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Internet Marketing July 27th, 2007
With online ad spending hitting record highs in North America, companies are beginning to take advantage of the interactive potential of the internet to strengthen brand ties.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada) reports that online ad spending hit 1.01 billion in 2006, and is predicted to increase to 1.33 billion by the end of this year. Demonstrating how companies are making the shift from a reliance on TV and big sponsorship, to more individually focused integrated internet marketing campaigns.
According to ComScore Media Metrix Canada, 23 million Canadians used the internet in 2006, with 2/3 of them connecting to the internet everyday. With numbers like this, it is evident that the future generation of marketing communications is going to have to evolve into something uniquely different then anything we have seen in the past.
Responding with a sense of urgency, company’s such as Molson, have identified that the number of emerging online technologies (such as search engine optimization, pay per click, facebook, mySpace and a host of other social networking sites) is only going to accelerate, and that if they want to stay on top, the time to act is now. Molson’s president/CEO Kevin Boyce believes that “the time to change is when you’re successful,” and that it is important to be in a mental mindset for change.
In order to stay close to consumers, and strengthen their brand ties, Molson has adapted their marketing communication plan to move forward online. Signing up with facebook for a beer exclusive, and diving into an online television marriage between Coors Light and MTV Canada, constructing what Kevin Boyce believes is “one of the most innovative multimedia brand integrations.”
Though online marketing can engage viewers, creating buzz, viral traffic, and boost brand awareness, many agencies still consider online internet marketing an after thought. Instead stating that it takes a specific kind of creative energy to predict, plan, and implement a successful, interactive, integrated, marketing campaign.
A survey by Shiny Red entitled “Effective Online PR Helps Brands Succeed through New Media,” found that 51 per cent of respondents believed that brands should be engaging them on the internet, with 46 per cent of internet users saying that their awareness of brands increase if they see information online.
Regardless of how long agencies wait to adapt, it is apparent that the internet is here to stay, and that integrated internet marketing campaigns are critical to engage and retain customers. My advice is for companies to look to marketing professionals that understand the interactivity of the web, and that online creative should engage visitors. For, it is the understanding of these techniques and principles that will strengthen brand ties.