From the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

Do you plan to simply continue with your existing net marketing campaigns in the new year? You'll be missing out. Instead, update your strategy to incorporate today's burgeoning technologies. Your customers are accessing the internet in new ways, so reach them before your competitors do.

Geoff Ramsey, CEO of market research firm eMarketer, sees the rise of broadband connectivity and community-based platforms as significant forces changing the internet in 2006. Keep an eye on these trends:

  • Blogs, RSS and podcasts: According to Ramsey, penetration of these and other consumer-generated communication tools among U.S. web users will grow rapidly. The number of Americans accessing podcasts, for example, will double from about 5 million today to more than 10 million next year.
  • Search marketing: Paid search dominates online advertising revenue--at 42 percent of 2005's total--and is constantly evolving. Consider using local search, pay-per-call and contextual advertising to target the different audiences who use search engines.
  • Marketing on the move: eMarketer estimates that mobile marketing and advertising spending will reach $219 million in 2006. Armed with BlackBerries, cell phones, iPods and other mobile devices, consumers are increasingly taking their content wherever they go.
  • Video over the internet: Broadband will enable you to reach consumers with TV-like messages, product demos and case studies. While the entire online advertising market will grow to $15.6 billion in 2006, rich-media advertising will total $1.9 billion.
  • Permission-based marketing: New software applications will make it even easier for annoyed consumers to skip, delete or bypass unwanted ads such as spam and pop-ups. Go out of your way to get permission to deliver the right messages to the right people at the desired times and places.

Ramsey believes next year will represent a "more level playing field for marketers and sellers of all sizes, across all industries." Embrace innovative technologies and capitalize on these trends to reach your future customers.

Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Sedaowns an internet marketing agency and is author of Search Engine Advertising.