February 18, 2018

Trends, Trends, Trends

With every new year, everyone and their brother compiles a list of trends. No professional area promises a more rapid-fire evolution of trends than marketing. For example, I’ve included here a photo I took in the women’s restroom in the Atlanta airport. We were returning from Thanksgiving in Rome, and when I went to “freshen up” I noticed warily that a woman was taking photos. Then I realized: the mirrors were doubling as billboards. When you stepped up to them they became mirrors; until then they remained billboards. I’d never seen anything like it!

But back to the trends. This compilation from Smart Company caught my eye and I thought you’d find it interesting. Key trends it identifies makes you sit up and take notice: the line between marketing and technology has completely disappeared. Now they are fantastically intertwined.

1. Google and Bing will offer app search before the year is out. This should make libraries sit up and take notice like never before. Now search is literally everywhere; what is the role of libraries in such an environment?

2.  . Display marketing will mirror much of what is search in practice. This means that display advertising will start to allow search. Wow.

3. Google versus Bing – competition will hot up.Can libraries be anything but lost in this battle of the behemoths? More than ever, we need to define our differentiator from these search engines.

4. Yahoo! “Rich ads in Search” proposition will take off, prompting Google to consider offering display style ads within the search engine results page (SERPs). This means that search results will be more important than ever because additional assets can be inserted in the search: things like video, photos, etc. No more just text descriptions.

5. Too much content on the web.Argh. Don’t we know it. Have you done a site search on your own website? We have recently, and we discovered that age old web horror: once it goes up, it never comes down.

6. There will be massive growth in the contextual-based PPC model – pulling away from the search engine domain to advertisers such as eBay or Amazon.

7. Instant Previews are here to stay, making 2011 “web design year”.With the introduction of Google Instant Previews, search engine users now get to see a site before they arrive at it. First impressions will mean more than ever.

8. Pre-targeting/retargeting/remarketing – all will be a prerequisite of any search strategy.  For centuries, libraries have been “open to all.” Some libraries are starting to understand that we can’t be all things to all people and must target our audiences. Now that will start to influence search and we’d better get on board.

9. Quick Response (QR) codes will replace “search online” calls to action in above the line (ATL) advertising. This is already taken off. Over the holidays I flew to New York City to visit family. My boarding pass was on my phone…loved that! Libraries should figure out how this new sensation can be incorporated. Can the public see a book title, scan the QR code and automatically reserve the title?

10. Google comparison ads will be rolled out across all finance (and perhaps more) vertical keywords. Probably not relevant to libraries today, but wait a week!

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.