DC Internet Marketing, SEO and other Digital Interactive service providers may be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, with respect to business indicators of a recovering economy in the Washington DC region. The DC region has been able to actually improve jobless rates and generally withstand economic pressure due primarily to a diverse, well-educated workforce supported by Federal and DoD spending. Small and medium businesses across the region haven’t been totally immune though, to the undercurrents of local economic downturn, nor have large businesses with significant operations in the area. However, DC Internet Marketing and Social Media spending by these firms is trending very quickly upwards after the first quarter of 2010, and the proliferation of new entrants to the DC Internet Marketing and Digital Media space is directly reflecting a positive rebound and expected worldwide growth in ad spending.
Interactive advertising and Digital advertising on the Internet in particular are leading the charge, in terms of the types of marketing dollars expected to be spent this year around DC. Internet Marketing in the DC area is generating examples of extremely high ROI (return on investment) to local and regional businesses.
Kelly Mclaughlan, CEO of KME Internet Marketing (a leading, established fixture of the metro DC Internet Marketing landscape), reports that “we’ve seen significant acceleration in the 2nd quarter this year of companies large and small seeking to adjust their DC regional marketing strategies to focus heavily on Interactive Digital Media through Social Media and Web 2.0 channels, along with a heavy shift in advertising spend from traditional print and broadcast to online direct or network advertising. Clients are quickly experiencing significant improvement in their brand visibility and reputation, the reach and resonance of market messaging, and the ROI achieved through shift of ad spend to Internet channels… and the competition’s heating up – not only among our clients and media partners, but among the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC Internet Marketing and Web services providers.”
The upwards trend in regional DC advertising and Internet Marketing spend is consistent across businesses, non-profit organizations and the government, as the ROI of Internet-based marketing and communications efforts becomes easier to track and report through a proliferation of new tools, software services and local expertise. Being able to more easily find and express ROI to investors and financial, product or marketing managers is leading to Internet-centric marketing spend added to mid-year budget cycles (which for many retail sectors is the beginning of the holiday marketing period).
Kelly McLaughlan states that “we’re already seeing a huge infusion of DC Internet Marketing spend in planning and strategies for shifting budgets to online channels, in preparation for the Fall and Holiday seasons. It’s necessary to act now, more in advance than traditional marketing channels, because “word-of-mouth” social media-based advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and other methods of establishing brand awareness and reputation online is more often an indirect, “earned” outcome, that requires some time to establish, analyze, adjust and maintain – but it’s durable, and drives very high conversion rates.”
DC Internet Marketing strategies and planning in particular are seeing influence from a large interactive digital professional population, driving many “Government 2.0” initiatives, non-profit and political-driven fundraising efforts, and reflecting a large infusion of creative, entrepreneurial professionals rebounding from unemployment in the traditional media, journalism, information technology and education sectors. While many newly-minted or refurbished professionals and agencies are hanging out their shingles, hoping to capture or influence parts of the resurgent DC Internet Marketing and Interactive Media demand, there are proven backgrounds, facets and professional qualities of service that should be considered before hiring a DC Internet Marketing provider or consultant.
These include experience and reputation of the Principals, certified experience in project management methods and Internet/IT engineering standards, consummate professionalism in communication and collaboration, access to a broad network of reputable industry professionals and partners, and durable, proven success in delivering ROI.
Therefore, while DC Internet Marketing and Interactive Digital Advertising trends and statistics appear extremely positive, as indicated by a resurgent professional services community and reflecting regional economic recovery, all DC businesses should continue to maintain the highest professional expectations of quality service delivery from their experienced DC Internet Marketing services provider.