I'm one of those annoying people who think whenever something happens in the industry, they predicted it months or years ago. So to keep myself honest this year, I'm setting down 10 predictions that can be looked up and checked for accuracy come 2003.
I'm predicting a slow recovery in online ad markets this year. Though far too many companies were in online marketing services a couple years ago (at least, relative to the sustainable marketing budgets available), we're now at a reasonable level. With consolidations leveling off and marketing dollars continuing to come into the interactive field, we should experience some evening out.
An ad will make me laugh out loud.
No online ad, no matter how much bandwidth it eats, will make me cry.
Search engines will try to win a large piece of the search engine optimization market by providing their own services.
Since the cost of serving ads is such a high percentage of the cost of online advertising, agency ad server companies will strike deals with Web site ad serving companies to share data rather than redundantly serve ads.
The hard-data metrics used to evaluate Web campaigns will begin to leak into traditional media, starting with print. Web planners who plan other media as well work primarily with print. Scrutiny will intensify on any medium those individuals work with.
More clients will take on more internal resources to do more of their own online marketing management. This will be due mainly to cost pressures, but also because online marketing is beginning to involve aspects of companies clients have never been comfortable outsourcing, such as inventory management and pricing.
"Death of the Banner" articles will ebb a bit in the beginning of the year, only to pick up again toward the end, as increasing budgets allow for more interesting production projects. These stories will be as inaccurate as they were five years ago.
Yahoo reps will continue to resist the urge to return phone calls from small agencies.
Online advertising dollars will flow back to advertising in trade publications, as conference and traditional media opportunities will continue to dwindle.
Tig Tillinghast helped start and run some of the industry's largest interactive divisions. He started out at Leo Burnett, joined J. Walter Thompson to run its interactive division out of San Francisco, and wound up building Anderson & Lembke's interactive group as well.