Insider Trends – The Future of Online Marketing

logo_insider_trendsOnce again Insider Trends founder and all round marketing guru Cate Trotter raced through an enormous number of ideas and examples.

Tonight’s topic was the Future of Online Marketing, and she started with a shocking prediction. If Google was dominant internet power in the 2000’s, then in the 2010’s it will be Facebook. In fact Facebook already drives more traffic to some websites that Google.

An interesting example from a recent net@night with Amber and Leo is the launch of Internet legend Guy Kawasaki’s tenth book called Enchantment. Rather than building a website to promote the book, he simply created a Facebook fan page.

Here are my notes from the excellent workshop:

Online Marketing in Context

It is big and growing fast:

– UK online retail growth is predicted to grow by 20% a year.

– 30 million UK residents already access the internet every day.

– UK Broadband has grown from 40% in 2006 to 71% in 2010.

– People are prepared to spend more money online than in the past.

– Increase in use is right across the age spectrum, with 65+ the fastest growing demographic on both the internet and Facebook.

– By the end of 2011 the majority of phones in UK will be smartphones.

o        But the number of smartphone online sales are still only a tiny proportion of online retail.

Selling Online

The evolution of online retailing. The initial advantages over bricks and mortar were price and convenience.

More recently we have seen the development of rich media and additional functionality. e.g. Spotify, with online music and social media links.

The future of e-commerce will be experiential – informative – personalised – social – convenient and reliable.

Experiential – a richer, more immersive, more interactive retail experience.

– e.g. – a grocery services which allows you to layout your own allotment, which they plant for you, with a webcam to show how your veg is growing. – in 2010 they hosted 8,000 shoe videos on their website, and found that between 6% and 30% of viewers went on to buy a pair of shoes. So, for 2011 they plan to host 50,000 videos.

– Augmented reality

o        An IKEA app for the iPhone which places virtual furniture in you rooms.

More informative retail experiences with extra layers of information and advice.

– Amazon customer comments and recommendations system helps enhance customers buying decisions. have added similar approach and increased by sales  by10%

– When you are buying apples on the Tesco website, you will be asked if you want to see recipe suggestions using apples.

More personalised shopping – allows you to customise almost every aspect of your shirt. – recently bought by Google – allows you to create a personalised shopping experience.

– Tesco have released an API to open up their enormous database to developers. An example would be a recipe website which would enable you to buy all the necessary ingredients from with one click.

Social shopping

– iTunes recently went social, using Ping, enabling you to see what your friends are listening too and buy the same easily.

– Facebook Commerce (could it be the next big thing?)  – shops within Facebook which turn shopping into a social experience – evidence shows visitors are 2.5 times more likely to buy than on standard websites.

Confidence online has increased

– From marketing – to initial enquiry – to purchase – to delivery – and repair/upgrade.

– Facebook stores provide ease of access – reduced barrier to access – same familiar Facebook interface.

o        e.g. – a mini shop still inside your Facebook newsfeed. – a virtual reality changing room to preview online clothes.

– Dec 2010 Christmas online shopping experience – 45% had problems – 32% abandoned shop – 50% said they were unlikely to return.

o        One solution is 24 hour 365 days phone customer support. e.g.

o – will monitor tweets or online comments about you within the hour – currently free (positive or negative)

– Simplify payments to improve the experience

o        Amazon – one click shopping – a patented (in the US) idea.

o        PayPal can sit on any website.

o        Facebook credits – still quite new – But you can already buy them in Tesco supermarkets.


– Home delivery concerns deter 44% of online shoppers.

– Perhaps not surprising as 1 in 10 deliveries fail.

o – using local conveniences stores for collection or drop-off – already adopted by Littlewoods etc


Get the basics right first –Search Engine Optimisation is the number one thing to boost your online retailing.

The evolution of marketing

– Billboards, newspapers, TV etc.

-10 years since Internet marketing began in earnest.

– Now users have the same power and reach as companies.

– We are listening to each other, not companies – peer recommendations have value – advertising has the least impact.

o        e.g. Shoes of Prey – One teenage fan’s vlog increased their traffic by five times.


o        Facebook Facepile application – lets you see which of your friends have visited a website

o – shows what you have been buying on your credit card

How do you make your brand the thing people want to talk about and share with their friends?

Two approaches – organic and nudge:


– You need to create something special to catch people’s attention.

– Quality products and service will generate positive marketing – blogs – Facebook etc.

o – tell it the bands you like – it will send you when they are playing

– Think about putting an amazing deal on your website – people will comment on it.

o – rooms for £1, once a year

Nudge promotion – works on a sliding scale from blatant to elegant – a blatant form of nudging – 17 million members since 2009 – all around selling – you get points for activities – many for getting a friend to do them – if you get 20 friends, your points double. – less blatant – rewards for tweets and Facebook mentions – benefits for sharer and share. – service enhanced in reward for sharing with friends. – lets customers promote themselves.


– Facebook Connect Comment – natural sharing. – the value only comes when others use it – so at the elegant end of the spectrum.

Overall conclusion

The web is becoming more sophisticated, and more satisfying (much more product information) and more social.

Retailers will need to think how they are going to move from a marketing budget to satisfaction budget.

“If I had to guess, social commerce is the next area to really blow up”, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder)

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