Thursday, January 03, 2008

Trends in 2008

In the first weeks of a new year almost every single major publication is publishing the key trends for the upcoming year. Some of them might even be relevant; most of them will be forgotten within a few weeks. Here is my suggested list of core trends that should be relevant for any data driven marketer who want to stay ahead:

  • Accountability remains king: CMO will continue to ask (and be asked) about the truly incremental business impact of their marketing efforts. The total marketing spend of almost $300 Billion in the US will become even more scrutinized, especially with a weaker US economy and the demand for cost control in most companies.
  • Big marketing agencies will do fine but their time to reinvent themselves is shortening: The commodization and automation of a majority of agency services will speed up throughout 2008 but this will not yet threaten the profitability and a moderate revenue growth for most agencies. But the time window of redesigning their value proposition is getting smaller. Most agency presidents will wake up on Jan 1, 2009, and will realize that 2008 was a ok year but that they have not done anything to get ready for 2010 and beyond
  • Web Metrics under pressure: 2007 showed already an increasing number of concerns about the accuracy of a majority of Web Metrics (from unique web site visitors to the true cost of online customer acquisitions). This uneasy feeling will only accelerate with the increasing spend on web related marketing programs.
  • More questions will be asked about the benefits of Integrated Marketing: Everyone has talked about Integrated Marketing (which is more than just using the same color scheme and logo font size across all communication channels) over the last 10 years but too often (meaning 99% of time) marketers don’t quantify its business impact. 2008 will be the year where the benefit quantification of integrated marketing will become more standard than ever before
  • Visualization of Data: An important trend in 2007 that will continue gaining speed and relevance. More open source projects will enable marketers without large budgets to take advantage of utilizing their own data in a compelling and truly democratizing manner.

It should be an interesting year where increases in marketing spend will hover around the inflation rate and where Google (and like minded start ups) will further accelerate its entrance and territory grabbing into the agency universe. The clock is ticking for big marketing agencies to reinvent themselves or to be marginalized


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