Internet Marketing Growth expected @ 50% in 2012

Dubai: There is no getting away from digital. If social media sites do not overwhelm you with their sheer ubiquity, digital ads will. And

Internet Marketing Dubai

you will get to see it this year.

According to the management consultancy Deloitte, online branding globally could transform into a $20 billion (Dh73.44 billion) category through a forecast 50 per cent growth in 2012. Against that, conventional advertising will only do so by 5 per cent.

For marketers and agencies in the Middle East, the writing on digital walls should be clear enough.

“There is a lack of audience measurement systems in the Middle East that, as in other markets, allow advertisers to assess the reach and impact of their advertisements through traditional mediums,” said Santino Saguto, partner in charge for the telecom, media and tech sectors at Deloitte Middle East.

“Digital platforms on the other hand offer a more quantifiable return on investment.”

This is one of the many predictions that the firm has made vis-a-vis the encroachment of digital platforms into these sectors. Some of the others are:

– Online coupon intermediaries will evolve from novelty to celebrity, to a sizable niche.

This is the year that it is likely to settle into a small niche, albeit one that generates billions of dollars in revenue, according to Deloitte. “The sector’s rapid evolution means that hundreds of companies will disappear during 2012 as competition continues to intensify and margins decline,” it forecasts.

“The number of people using online vouchers should also decline moderately. Intermediaries that sit between the consumer and the retailer will continue to generate billions of dollars, but will need to increase the quality and variety of offers available.

Lower commissions

“They may also need to accept lower commissions on sales of coupons — which can be as high as 50 per cent — to entice more retailers to consider using their services as well as shifting their focus from discount size to value, utility or even rarity to change the perception of the service they offer.”

– The schedule still dominates.

Despite the impression that digital media will fast-track the decline of broadcast television, Deloitte maintains that 95 per cent of all TV programmes watched in 2012 will be live or within a day of the original broadcast.

“Even the advent of social networks has enhanced, rather than diminished, the schedule’s appeal as commentary on programmes has expanded from the living room to a community,” said Saguto.

“This may be because we are hard-wired to prefer routine. Conventional broadcasters need to build on this power and show advertisers the advantages of the schedule and building campaigns within the context of a schedule.”

– Extracting premium from social games.

With social gaming taking off in 2010 and 2011, the financial potential has been drawn to the public’s attention. However, companies need to evolve away from the ‘freemium’ model that has propelled them into the spotlight to take a greater portion of the $63 billion global games market from 2 per cent this year, according to Deloitte.

– MRI machines and media.

The use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines (fMRI) will grow in influence, this year. Such analysis can show that activity in certain regions of the brain correlates with specific emotions and types of thinking.

“The controversial technique, known as neuro-marketing, has already started to gain traction with food companies altering their packaging and even the flavour of their products as a result of this technique,” says Deloitte.

“The method has also been used to determine that people that are very active on social networks have more well-developed brain regions associated with sociability. It appears likely that fMRI will become a key tool for advertisers in 2012”.

Businesses need to go online

Dubai: By 2016, nearly half of the world’s population will be web-enabled, which kind of makes it difficult for businesses to ignore the fact they are well and truly in the internet economy.

“No company or country can afford to ignore this development — every business needs to go digital,” said David Dean, senior partner at the Boston Consulting Group.

The consultancy has put its thoughts on the matter into a new report titled The Digital Manifesto: How Companies and Countries Can Win in the Digital Economy, where it makes the case that businesses will be fundamentally transformed over the next five years.

Gulf News: 08 March 2012

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