Ok, so who the heck am I to make predictions? Well, I’ve never done this before, but this year I’m “feeling it”. So here it goes in no particular order.
1. Social Media will get bigger at the cost of Brand
I realize that saying social media will grow is not a huge leap to take. But I think there is plenty of good and bad to go with this. Companies will be using SoMed to communicate better with their customer (the good) and in more ways (also good). But I fear that they will be sacrificing their brand integrity, (the bad) while doing it. Brand Expectation, what people expect from your brand, is not easy to maintain. Often companies throw their brand out the window when utilizing social media. I think this trade off will ramp up in 2010.
2. The Markets will create Schizophrenic Spenders
The markets will fall again. And rise. And fall. And rise. Markets will try to find their way this year, and in doing so, create a country of schizophrenic spenders. Though value will still remain a mantra for most consumers, this will be a tough act for marketers to follow. My recommendation: the best course of action is to ignore their ups and downs and simply go forward knowing that in the end growth will occur.
3. Miley and Disney will break up
I know this is a marketing blog. But c’mon! She’s one of the biggest marketing success stories of the decade. However, today Miley Cyrus is on the verge of being a full-fledged adult, even though her parents have been trying to make her into one for years now. One day this year I believe she will actually do something “adult”. Hence the breakup.
4. Creativity will be co-opted for ROI
This is already happening. For the past several years companies have been hailing the almighty ROI in favor of the “gut” of creativity. The recession has sped this up. Not that there’s anything wrong with ROI, but “preemptive ROI”, or demanding the promised return before the investment, stifles creativity, and thus a lot of options for success. Just because you can’t count the clicks, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Companies can break the trend by occasionally trusting hunches—based on real research and analysis of course:)
5. Google vs Apple. Google in 8 rounds.
What’s nexus, er I mean, next for these two? There is absolutely no doubt that this battle is happening and that it will escalate. But who’s going to come out on top. Google has the bigger reach and base advantage. Apple has the design and innovation advantage–or at least they have the heritage of it. Although I am and Apple die-hard, in this case, I think Google’s easy access to vast populations will win out.
6. Marketing hiring will increase in the US
Per #2, I think companies will begin to realize (they’re already doing it) that despite what the news says and what the market does, business has to go on with growth in mind. Otherwise, given the complicated nature of reaching customers today, they will simply fall behind. This will continue to spur hiring. This will be a boon to job hunters as well as those who are working double-time to maintain productivity.
7. Customer service will improve (but far less than it should)
Press ‘1” for English. We’re sorry, wait times are exceptionally long…I don’t think this has anything to do with companies’ conscious desire to frustrate their customers. But I think that corporate marketing is attempting to steer between two tornadoes these days—the recession and a technological revolution. While trying to understand the “new normal” on the one hand, and discover and implement technological and alternative ways to “converse” with customers on the other, marketers simply lack the bandwidth to fully focus on customer service. Of course, it’s obvious these are all part of the same pickle. However, these tasks are clearly compartmentalized in many companies, and the bigger picture is not always seen.
8. The Ad Agency will (still) NOT die
People will find new ways to keep advertising agencies (or whatever you want to call them, since many ad agencies don’t just do ads anymore) alive. I think that part of this involves reintegrating functions such as research, media and interactive, to make agencies true one-stop-shops, like they used to be. Ideas like the following will also reinvigorate the industry. http://www.tmdworldwide.com and http://www.newmessage.nl/News/
9. Companies will re-focus on customers not tactics
I believe that this year we will start to see corporate marketers re-focusing on their customers rather than the tactics to reach them. Instead of screaming, “we need twitter” or “set up a blog” I see companies truly “examining the board” and tailoring tactics (especially social media) to their customers needs and desires. Customer Experience and user Experience will continue to grow.
10. “TV’ will be ‘On” more often
Television has converged wonderfully with digital apps and the Internet over the last few years and this will continue. Sites like Hulu and other TV and movie downloading services will become more “open”. And sites like Surf The Channel will become more acceptable. Beyond that, look for ways for wireless apps to better interact with your TV. Also, and I know this is a long time coming, I think 2010 will bring us our first 100% online TV “network” and it won’t come out of Hollywood.
Just in case you don’t like my predictions. here are just a few more to chew on:
Filed under: Advertising, Brand, Creative, Customer, customer experience, Customer Service, Design, Digital, Digital Advertising, Innovation Tagged: | 2010 predictions, Advertising, Apple, Brand, Brand Strategy, Branding, CEM, consumer, Creativity, customer experience, Customer Service, Design, Disney, entertainment marketing, Google, Hulu, marketing, Marketing Communications, nexus, Promotions, Social media, television, user experience