I spent the weekend in a medically induced trance, meditating on emerging advertising and marketing trends and what we’re likely to see coming our way next year. My top 7 predictions:
1. Zombies rule for the foreseeable future. Obviously zombies won’t die….they’ll just slowly rot away until they are like that limbless crawler in the first episode of The Walking Dead. They’re tough little bastards actually. Way more persistent than vampires. Expect them to be slouching around for a while. Heck, the ad world is just waking up to them. See what I mean here.
2. It’s all about the thumbs from here on in folks. Smartphones can do it all. They’re cheaper, cooler and way more versatile. We’ll hang on to our old laptops but upgrade to the lastest Smartphone. Expect to see a mother-lode of advertising dollars go mobile.
3. Advertising with motion booms; motionless advertising busts. You don’t have to have a million dollar TV production and media budget to have a breakout video presence anymore. People are filming and editing spots on their iPhones now, posting them in blogs, on websites, Facebook and of course, YouTube. Video and interactive advertising rules because you can suddenly afford it. Print and posters and the old school stuff, already experiencing huge volume declines, continue their grim-faced journey south.
4. Creativity will be re-born. If 2010 was all about the science of advertising taking hold (targeting, analytics, optimization), 2011 will be about The Big Idea strutting back to centre stage. Creativity has always been at the heart of successful marketing, but the rapid recent changes in digital media and consumer behaviour have forced advertisers to get their houses in order pronto. That now well underway, the pendulum swings back to what makes agencies valuable in the first place: murderous ideas.
5. Direct Mail is going to get whacked. As marketers find ever-more effective ways of harnessing data through online behaviour, the traditional snail-mail approach is going to sharply decline. Don’t expect to see it come back. It’s expensive, it’s resource heavy and it takes too long to produce and deliver.
6. Facebook becomes popular. The addictive, eco-systemic nature of Facebook makes monkeys out of the competition. Location-based monster platform? Check. Search functionality? With all your personal preferences aggregated and algorithms on the loose, how far away can social search really be?
7. Research, Engage and Optimize will become the new mantra for ad agencies. If it isn’t targeted, it’s wasted. If it doesn’t create engagement, it’s too easy to ignore. If it isn’t optimized, researching and engaging are pointless.
Have your say. Got a prediction for the 2011? We’d love to hear it.