Blogs, e-mails and group sites gain global marketing popularity: ICOM

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A new survey from independent agency network ICOM shows that while the Internet is an increasingly popular marketing medium worldwide, other forms of outreach are also growing.

Blogs, e-mails and group sites were the fastest growing forms of marketing in Europe, North America and Asia. But viral marketing is equally strong in North America, outdoor and product placement in Asia, and SMS and guerrilla marketing topped the list in Latin America.

ICOM based the results on data from 58 respondents in 25 countries from 34 member agencies.

The Rollinsville, CO-organization wanted to gauge whether changes in the media landscape were occurring worldwide and in what ways. It also sought to know how marketers were changing their communications to consumers and how these moves impact the way agencies are run.

ICOM found many of the top 10 methods used to reach audiences worldwide fall under the Internet shingle, though not all. They are, in descending order, blogs/e-mails/group sites, viral marketing, interstitials and embeds, commercial messages on handheld devices and new formats of outdoor.

Other fast-growing marketing ploys include brand-experience efforts like brand-sponsored games, guerrilla marketing, search engine marketing, SMS and program development like product placement next to content.

Ninety-two percent of the respondents said their clients are including the new media choices in their advertising and marketing programs. More than half said that is already happening frequently and only 3 percent reported "never."

The respondents said clients today are using more online marketing and more integrated campaigns with extra components. They are segmenting audiences more, targeting more narrowly and expecting measurements to meet return on investment goals.

But there was no doubt the Internet is key to almost every marketing plan, according to ICOM.

Not surprisingly, old media have suffered as a result of the Internet's rise.

The ICOM survey asked whether any traditional media choices were on the decline with no chance of recovery because of the new avenues available to reach audiences. Forty-two percent of the respondents cited newspapers, 20 percent each radio and television, 18 percent magazines, 16 percent cinema and 6 percent outdoor.

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