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The Latest Trends in Digital Media, Part 1

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Digital media is transforming how marketers engage with customers and prospects. Whether you’re marketing to business executives or consumers, it’s critical to monitor the fast-changing digital media space. So what’s on the horizon for digital media in 2012, and what does it mean to marketers?

Three marketing experts shared their forecasts recently at a program sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Adele Pellicane of Traffiq, Inc.; Larry Weissman of Top Line Revenue, Inc.; and Scott Chapin of Marcus Thomas LLC were panelists. Michael DeAloia of Emerging Chefs of Cleveland moderated. Here’s what these digital media pros see on the horizon and some insights for using digital media in your smart marketing strategy.

What digital media is and why it matters. Chapin defined digital media as “anything that’s driving traffic to digital content—paid media, social media or other media that drives traffic to a digital source.” 

Marketers need to embrace digital media, said Weissman, because “it’s quickly becoming mainstream” and it’s reshaping the traditional sales funnel. “The sales funnel is now dramatically different and much more complex because of digital media,” he noted.

The next big trend: mobile + social + local. Last year’s big trend was mobile marketing, said Chapin. Advertisers spent more than $1 billion in mobile marketing ads in 2011. “What’s coming is the convergence of social, mobile and local. That’s the hot trend right now,” he stated. “Facebook and Google are both going in this direction. Every marketer’s goal is to figure out how to communicate their brand to customers when they’re on the go.”

Pellicane agreed. “The convergence of mobile, social and local is the next big trend in digital media. It’s about the where and when. This will continue to grow, especially in the retail space,” she predicted. “It’s crucial for branding and driving sales.”

According to Weissman, local social-media marketing platforms such as Foursquare are important to retail marketers, but “the local marketing space is extremely crowded and there’s a consolidation coming. Amazon and eBay are getting ready to launch these types of products. Foursquare will need to stay innovative to thrive in this environment.”

More from the AAF next week.

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Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.