The upbeat message on the potential of Internet marketing continued apace today. Craig Snyder, Marchex, in his Keynote Session, confirmed the trends with some striking US Dept. of Commerce Data. This showed that E-commerce has more than tripled over the last 4 years to reach 17 billion $ US in the 4th Quarter 2003. Surprisingly Internet advertising peaked in 2000 at 6.5 billion $ US then dropped and is only slowly returning above 6 billion $ US. Search advertising did not see this fallback and has seen spectacular growth to perhaps close to a 50% share of this total.
Luckily despite this pleasing reality, the Conference did not immediately morph into a simple Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Conference at this point. It continued to explore the wider theme of what I continue to call Holistic Marketing.
This is not to say that there weren’t good sessions on Search Engine Optimization and Marketing. However the two best presentations in my opinion both dealt with Integrated Marketing Strategies. Sheila Mooney, Nurun, showed 6 fine examples of how interactivity through new and traditional channels is creating success and profitability. Gay Gaddis, T3, talked most entertainingly about Developing Strategic Integrated Marketing Campaigns. The success of both groups with their blue-chip clients shows the success of this approach.
The final day program tomorrow continues with this same wide-ranging approach.
Gay Gaddis is a delight to listen to and pointed out the difficulties of Integration. She play-acted the exchange between an old-style traditional adman and the young IT geek as they tried to relate. I often think about that product-driven / customer-centric scale in that IBM book on Customer-centered Enterprises. Integration sounds as though it’s at the left-hand product-driven end of the scale. Holistic marketing, which deals with the same issues, is approaching this from the right-hand customer-centric end of the scale.