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Crisis Survival Kit: 5 Ways The Meltdown Will Change Digital Marketing

Facing an economic downturn, the -- understandable -- impulse for many business owners is to pour any available resources into marketing to bring in more business. But it's crucial that business owners think through how the downturn will affect digital marketing before committing dollars to specific programs, vehicles, or campaigns.
Facing an economic downturn, the -- understandable -- impulse for many business owners is to pour any available resources into marketing to bring in more business. But it's crucial that business owners think through how the downturn will affect digital marketing before committing dollars to specific programs, vehicles, or campaigns.Andrew Goodman over at SearchEngineLand compiled five ways that the Wall Street Meltdown will affect digital marketers (and by extension digital marketing) and dangled the promise of six more in a yet to be posted follow up column.

  1. Paid search will remain relatively robust. Paid Search now makes up over 40% of digital advertising spending and because of the auction-based model and a relentless focus on ROI measurement, Goodman believes paid search will weather the storm, but notes that "downward pressure on pricing is inevitable."
  2. Display ads are vulnerable in a slowdown. Display advertising collapsed along with the dot com bubble and though the market has rebounded and evolved, Goodman believes it's still vulnerable, in part, due to the perception it's significantly less targeted than search advertising.
  3. Weak companies die. The strong get stronger. Just as less established companies will of all stripes may face rough sledding the face of tight credit the same is true of agencies. Goodman posits that advertisers fear will drive more business to established players, leaving up and comers out in the cold regardless of their credit score.
  4. M&A activity and people changing jobs. Just as the banking industry is consolidating, the agency scene will also contract, which means talent will move around as well.
  5. Focus shifts to a few leaders. Goodman predicts that the irreverent flippancy of flush times will wane and power and influence will shift from iconoclasts and naysayers to established corporate leaders and companies that sign paychecks and traditional "safe" media will get a boost. His prediction: fewer bloggers and starved RSS feeds.

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