In Tuesday's closing keynote at ad:tech San Francisco, Geoff Ramsey, CEO and co-founder of eMarketer, and Lori Schwartz, executive director of IPG Media Lab, presented four of the hottest trends in digital marketing by profiling four promising San Francisco companies -- and discussing why they matter to digital marketers.
Schwartz outlined the companies themselves -- which were selected based on their innovation, thought leadership, and business models -- and Ramsey pulled together compelling numbers to illustrate why the broader marketing climate is ripe for these companies and their associated opportunities.
The profiled marketing opportunities and their representative companies were:
E-commerce: Adgregate Markets
Adgregate Markets brings shopping to the consumer -- it doesn't take them away from where they want to be. Thanks to proprietary technology and strategic partnerships, Adgregate's distributed commerce applications are able to securely and seamlessly complete transactions on behalf of clients, even on unsecure content pages. Thus, brands can add storefronts to their Facebook pages that enable their visitors to purchase without ever leaving Facebook.
Why is this an opportunity marketers should get excited about? According to Ramsey, e-commerce is making a comeback. After e-commerce took a hard hit during the recession, eMarketer expects the sector's growth to climb back into the double digits. And through solutions such as Adgregate Markets, brands can capitalize on this comeback by encouraging something that has been virtually nonexistent in online shopping to date -- impulse buys.
Social media: thisMoment
thisMoment is a B2B solution for creating social engagement. The company's system enables a brand to manage its presence across multiple online environments. It combines content presentation, multimedia UGC, and a variety of real-time inputs to create an engaging user experience, which is then distributed across leading social platforms including YouTube brand channels, Facebook fan pages, MySpace brand communities, the iPhone, and more.
Why is this an opportunity marketers should get excited about? Because social media is still growing -- and social media marketing budgets will continue to climb. By creating a hub for a brand's core audience, savvy brands can grow those important influencer bases.
Placecast's location-based advertising lets advertisers deliver highly relevant location-based messaging to sought-after audiences across any digital channel. The company's ShopAlerts is a location-triggered mobile marketing solution that gives companies the ability to deliver mobile messages to customers that are tied to the place and time they receive them.
Why is this an opportunity marketers should get excited about? Because, as Ramsey said, it's finally time for marketers to get jazzed about mobile. Smartphone penetration, growing app marketplaces, new players in the mobile market -- all these signs signal that big things are about to happen. And now is the time for marketers to position themselves to reach customers at the time and place that they most want to connect with brands.
Video: Coincident TV
Coincident TV enables immersive "hypervideo" experiences -- the real-time integration of online video with social media, weblinks, and transactions. By merging online, video, ads, social media, and SMS, the company's software suite allows content creators and distributors to design, manage, and measure interactive video engagements across all digital platforms. The video player is treated like a browser that integrates all these things into one experience.
Why is this an opportunity marketers should get excited about? For one, more people are consuming video online. And while numbers still pale in comparison to TV viewership, one thing is certain: Online video viewers are more engaged than those watching TV. Thus, savvy marketers will look to engage with these audiences by moving away from the classic disruption model and offering them content that they want -- in a way that they can interact with it.