Nic Howell, Guide editor
When new media age launched the Marketing Services Guide five years ago,we did so with the aim of providing a comprehensive directory of top-level expertise that was distinct from our long established Top 100 Interactive Agencies guide. Fast forward to 2010 and,while digital marketing has come on in leaps and bounds, the distinction between specialists and generalists hasn't gone away.
Andy Heaps, Head of search, Epiphany
The last 12 months have seen a huge transformation in the digital industry and thus major changes for agencies and brands alike. A combination of clients being more knowledgeable and the state of the economy has meant every penny of that all - important marketing budget is coming under constant scrutiny. The transparency of search has meant, certainly for us as an agency, that budgets are being realigned - resources for offline channels such as TV and direct marketing have been shifted into online channels, with much of it being pushed through search due to its highly measurable nature.
Matthew Wood, Founder, Affiliates4U, a4uexpo and a4uAwards
The latest Bellwether Report says advertisers are showing confidence in the admarket for the first time since the beginning of the recession. While this is fabulous news for all, we're not out of the woods yet and the spotlight will remain on the bottom line as advertisers increasingly scrutinise their activity. However, this can only be a good thing for affiliatemarketing as it's the only channel which is purely performance based and therefore the perfect choice for advertisers focusing on ROI.
Stefano Diemmi, MD, B!Digital UK
The mobile and digital markets are dominated by platforms, devices and methods to interact with customers. The worldwide success of iPhone, Android and BlackBerry app platforms gives brands and agencies a more immersive and integrated user experience to add to their repertoire of ways to interact with the end consumer. In turn this 'creative' interaction has sparked the interest of marketing managers, who now embrace mobile as away to fully exploit their campaigns.
Ed Stevenson, European MD, Marin Software
2010 is shaping up to be the most important year in the history of paid search for two reasons. First, the entrance of Facebook and other social channels has fragmented the market, opened up new audiences and increased demand for performance display - AKA search. And second, as the economy recovers, we expect to see a surge in demand for campaigns and record levels of search spend coming into the sector.
Jay Stevens, VP and GM international, The Rubicon Project
2009 was a successful year for online ad networks, with advertisers and their agencies increasingly investing in network buys offering good reach and scale. The research we commissioned from econsultancy in September revealed that 46% of advertisers and their agencies are working with more networks than they were a year ago, and more than half of online publishers say their revenue from online display advertising has increased over the past year.