Scott Brinker from Chief Marketing Technologist has some good advice on S curves and how to handle them.
S curves are a phenomenon of technology adoption. They begin where a particular technology — in this case, ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) — arrive on the scene with chaotic, slow growth while early adopters figure it out. Then a dominant model emerges — e.g., Google AdWords text ads — where the winning approach and the benefits to the market become obvious, powering mainstream adoption at an exponential rate. But eventually growth levels off, adoption saturates, and incremental improvements and benefits plateau.
At this point, new technologies, approaches, and business models vie in the same space to be the “the next new thing” — to trigger a new S curve that will overtake the old one.
The implication for marketers — and marketing technologists in particular — is to be ready, alert, and open-minded. When a new S curve surfaces in an industry, reaction speed and flexibility are competitive advantages. As the environment changes, it can be a valuable edge to experiment, learn, and adapt before your competitors do. This is what it means to view marketing as a science.
If image-based ads and/or video are predictably an integral part of this next wave, you can take a few steps to prepare that are either low-cost or valuable in their own right:
- put your digital asset management house in order;
- shore up your internal or external design resources;
- start to talk with new vendors in the micro-video space;
- don’t let your search marketing processes get too rigid;
- if purchasing or building search management software, make sure that you have contingency options in case significant changes are required quickly — or if even an alternate solution may need to be substituted over the next 12-24 months.
This will certainly offer a new round of upheaval for software vendors and agencies in the search marketing space. New entrepreneurs: take heed. And to the degree that this next S curve has more visual canvas than plain text ads, it may offer one more chance for traditional (or “tradigital”) advertising agencies to play a leading role in the search marketing space.
S curves do look a little like roller coasters, don’t they? Should be fun.
Continues at http://www.chiefmartec.com
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