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May - 2011 - issue > CEO Spotlight
Internet-Marketing-It-is-the-battle-of-Search-vs-Social
Mani Iyer
Friday, April 29, 2011
The online marketing and internet advertising sectors world-wide are estimated at $53 billion (source: Caris & Company, 2011) growing at over 15 percent. Within this larger market, which includes search marketing, classifieds and lead generation, high growth categories include email marketing ($1.5 billion), enterprise social media/social communities ($1.5 billion) and Paid Display Media & Rich Media ($17 billion). Social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) with over 800 million users world-wide are seeing rapid adoption, and also driving much of the innovation. Enterprises are re-tooling their traditional marketing channels for today’s social, real-time world. Another area seeing enormous interest is local advertising and the small-to-medium business (SMB) sectors. Some of the technology enablers and drivers are smart phones and newer mobile devices that make transactions easier for users and cloud-based services and low-cost infrastructure enabling disruptive new business models from emerging cloud and SaaS-based startups.

The biggest battle brewing that could re-shape this sector is “Search versus Social”. Will users mine their social graph first, and seek out peer recommendations, as they make decisions around the products and services they will purchase or consume? Or will they continue to search on Google as they make those decisions? B2B marketers continue to seek ways to improve demand generation, enhance their lead nurturing and are interested in getting more of their customers to be advocates for their brand or business. B2C marketers are seeking higher quality leads, in greater volume and lower cost. They want their life cycle emails to users to truly engage them, and up sell / cross sell other products. They also want to easily tap their users’ social graphs, and cost-effectively increase their audience reach. This is the next big opportunity for the Internet entrepreneurs and how they innovatively mine it will decide their success.
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