Marketers Must Tend Multiple 'Digital Gardens'

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

MediaPost, 1/12/11

Brands that want to stay relevant online have their work cut out for them, according to Millward Brown’s Futures Group, which identified a slew of digital trends for 2011.

According to the report, brands will be forced to straddle their presence between the public open Web and semi-walled gardens, as surfing the Web is increasingly replaced by running apps or viewing pages on Facebook.

These application and fan page “gardens” are popular because they allow marketers to control and simplify consumer interactions. However, brands will increasingly need to tend multiple “gardens,” often building different applications for specific platforms, to ensure they are both relevant and present everywhere their consumers want to encounter them.

“It may be easier to drive traffic to a fan page than an e-commerce site, so brands need to be increasingly clear about whether their online objective is engagement or sales.” says Duncan Southgate, global innovations director, Millward Brown. “They must also decide whether to have different offers on Twitter or Facebook than on the brand Web site. Experience and research will help marketers pull the pieces of the puzzle together.”

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