Overhyped or the Next Big Thing? Inside the Marketer’s Studio

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One of my favourite things about attending conferences is getting to meet smart, local subject-matter experts.  You know who I mean – the people who may never keynote but who are hardcore mavens in their particular area.  At the upcoming Digital Marketing Conference, there are going to be a number of these mavens moderating the "Experience Exchange" roundtables: focused discussions on topics timely and pertinent for digital marketers.

I was able to persuade a few of these smart folks to step inside the marketer’s studio and tell us (essentially) what’s hot and what’s not in the particular areas as well as share some of their best resources about their particular expertise. 

  1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for your roundtable topic in 2008?
  2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for your roundtable topic in 2009?
  3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about your roundtable topic?

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Deborah Hall
Deborah Hall is the Vice President of Magnet Mobile Media. She will be moderating the roundtable discussion on mobile marketing.

1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for mobile marketing in 2008?
The biggest non-issue is whether or not mobile marketing will take off.  It’s taking off and the brands that are behind it will benefit from engaging consumers in this medium in a relevant way that offers value. 

2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for mobile marketing in 2009?
One of the hottest topics for marketers in the mobile space will likely be the appearance of the iPhone in Canada in 2008 and how digital experiences are changing with more users accessing sites on mobile devices. 

In addition to mobile browsing, mobile phone users under 34 spent more time texting on their phones than voice calls – so the growth of text messaging continues to explode making it another opportunity for marketers to take advantage of.

3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about mobile marketing?

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Bill Sweetman
Bill is the General Manager of the Tucows Domain Portfolio.  He will be leading the roundtable discussion on domain name marketing strategies.

1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for domain name marketing in 2008?
The upcoming launch of a supposedly unlimited number of new TLDs
(supposed ‘competitors’ to .com, .net, .org, etc.) was widely, and
often inaccurately, reported in the media. In reality, it will be
several years before any of these new TLDs will be available, and the
success of any of them is far from a given. Most will fail due to lack
of market demand, and it will be a long time before any of them could
be in a position to have any negative impact on the value and
importance of owning the .com version of a domain name. That being
said, Tucows will be there to support any of the new TLDs that do end
up gaining market traction.

2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for domain name marketing in 2009?
With marketing budgets under fire, one of the hot issues will be (if I have my way) the concept of taking advantage of the ‘free’ traffic an advertiser can obtain by owning or leasing the right premium domain name. Rather than spend a fortune trying to drive traffic to an obscure but trendy Web 2.0-esque domain name (you know, the kind that drops all the vowels), marketers will realize that owning a good, keyword-based domain name makes a lot more sense. So, for example, savvy marketers will come to realize that lonelyhearts.com  is a way better domain name for a dating site than luscio.us. (And yes, lonelyhearts.com is one of the domains that Tucows owns.)

3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about domain name marketing?
You know, there’s not a lot out there that’s written with the marketer in mind, which is one of the reasons I often blog about domain names and domain name strategy for marketers on my own blog, Sweetmantra [www.sweetmantra.com]. If you’re in the market for a good premium domain name, or simply want to see what sort of high-quality names are available for purchase, I’d recommend doing a search on DomainSurfer [www.domainsurfer.com]. This is a service provided by one of Tucows’s retail divisions, Domain Direct, although the names that are up for sale are not all owned by Tucows.

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Linda Burlison
Linda Burlison is an Online Marketing Specialist. She will be moderating the roundtable discussion on search engine optimization.

1. What do you think will be the hottest issue for search engine optimization in 2009?
Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I believe we reached a tipping point in Canada in 2008. This is the first year where I’ve noticed more than a handful of mainstream Canadian marketers (and not just those from tiny traffic-dependent sites) began to see search engine optimization as a business fundamental – not just some mysterious ‘nice to have’ that is ‘added’ post-site-launch. 

Given this, I think (and hope) that for the first time in 2009 we’ll start to discuss some more advanced business topics related to SEO – and not just the basic technical principals and tactics.  For example, topics like – how can organizations implement SEO strategy across products and brands – especially given organizational resistance to change? How can marketers leverage social media and online community to positively impact organic search traffic? What impact does affiliate marketing have upon a company’s ability to drive organic search engine traffic? 

While maybe these aren’t ‘hot’ (as in exciting!) issues – they are examples of the kinds of issues that marketing professionals are starting to come up against and need to be aware of.

2. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about search engine optimization?

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Larysa Rodriguez 
Larysa is the Senior Manager, Interactive Marketing for Scotiabank’s International Banking Division. She will be moderating the roundtable discussion on interactive marketing for financial institutions. 

1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for interactive marketing for financial institutions in 2008?
Mobile banking

2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for interactive marketing for financial institutions in 2009: 

  • Mobile banking
  • Mobile marketing
  • Social media for FIs – when and why?
  • Measuring media effectiveness across traditional and digital channels   

3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about interactive marketing for financial institutions?

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Adam Oliveira
Adam is the Executive Creative Director at Quizative Inc.  He will be moderating the roundtable on Future Digital Marketing Platforms.

1. What do you think was the biggest non-issue for Future Digital
Marketing Platforms in 2008?

Viral – it really is a non-issue because
it DOES NOT EXIST as a means or method. Marketers and advertisers
callously throw the word "viral" around as if it’s a technique that can
be exploited. Truth is, viral is a RESULT, not a strategy. Anything can
go viral if it’s good enough to gain adoption. Marketers, advertisers
and content producers should instead be focused around creating great
ideas and great content.

2. What do you think will be the hottest issue for Future Digital Marketing Platforms in 2009?
The hottest issue will be the shift of episodic TV shows from traditional channels to online, e.g. Hulu, iTunes, Joost, etc., and how producers and advertisers can build viable business and marketing models around them. This is where more and more people are consuming content, and extends from web to mobile/portable devices. How is advertising going to be integrated into content? Are there other ways besides product placement? Can marketers take advantage of interactivity and metrics to segment and personalize advertising to content consumers?

3. What are your top 2 or 3 favourite resources/tools/blogs for marketers who want to learn about Future Digital Marketing Platforms

Divider

Following is a full list of the topics of the Experience Exchange.  What’s hot or not for you in these areas?  Or what questions would you like to see moderators address?

  • Podcasting & Blogs
  • Online Video
  • Branded Entertainment
  • Conversion & Measurement (Usability Design)
  • E-mail Marketing (B2B & B2C)
  • Social Marketing & Online Communities
  • Paid Search
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Future Digital Marketing Platforms
  • Changes in the Online Media Landscape
  • Changes in Interactive Marketing (FIs)
  • Changes in Interactive Marketing (CPGs)
  • Changes in Interactive Marketing (Retail)
  • Domain name marketing strategies
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