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Digital Marketing Trends and the Implications

comScore released their 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review report. It recaps key trends in the U.S. digital media landscape -- including e-commerce, search, online video, online advertising and mobile, with an emphasis on how digital marketers can capitalize on these trends in 2010.

2009 proved to be a critical year in digital marketing as the economic environment brought unprecedented challenges to the industry. After years of strong growth across the digital economy, the recession introduced softness to many digital business sectors.

But, despite these economic headwinds, consumer's use of digital media climbed to new heights in 2009 as the Internet continued to evolve as an integral component of American's personal and professional lives.

The report provides a comprehensive view across the fixed and mobile digital sectors to uncover this past year's important consumer trends.

Key highlights of the comScore report include:

- The U.S. core search market grew 16 percent in 2009, driven by a 6 percent gain in unique searchers and a 10 percent gain in search queries per searcher. Google and Bing led among the core search engines in terms of increases in market share.

- Social networking continued to gain momentum in 2009 with nearly 4 out of 5 Internet users visiting a social networking site on a monthly basis and Facebook and Twitter propelling much of the growth in the category.

- Display ad impressions grew 21 percent in 2009 as the online advertising sector increased its share of media spending. Growth was driven by an 8 percent increase in ad reach and a 12 percent increase in average frequency.

- Total (retail and travel) U.S. e-commerce spending reached $209.6 billion in 2009, down 2 percent versus the previous year and the first year on record with negative growth rates. Nonetheless, e-commerce retail spending continued to increase its share of consumer spending in a challenging economic environment.

- Six out of seven U.S. Internet users now view online video content in a month, with YouTube and Hulu continuing to experience rapid increase in viewership.

- In the past year, the mobile industry witnessed smartphone ownership increase from 11 percent to 17 percent of mobile users, while 3G phone ownership increased from 32 percent to 43 percent.

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