Destination Unknown

  |  February 10, 2004   |  Comments

It's always difficult to spot a trend. Thankfully, there are professionals who keep their finger on the pulse of civilization and take the larger view.

Trendscape 2004
By Michael Tchong
102pp. San Francisco: Trendscape. $360.

It's always difficult to spot a trend. What seems obvious once everyone's doing it is remarkably elusive during the nascent stage. The daily chaos of experience often does not leave time for thoughtful reflection, and even the best businesspeople can drown in a sea of data.

Thankfully, there are professionals who keep their finger on the pulse of civilization and take the larger view. Michael Tchong, always an interesting speaker and perennial man-about-the-Web, has collected the results of his annual dissection of the cultural landscape in Trendscape 2004. The results make for fascinating reading.

Commenting on everything from drugs, in a chapter entitled "Generation X-tasy," to nudity in "Porno Chic," Tchong gives the reader an unvarnished look at everything under the sun. This is probably one of the few trend reports you may find that comes with an adult warning. While such things are undoubtedly captivating, Trendscape really piques the interest when it touches on topics like marketing.

In an excellent section discussing online marketing, Trendscape bluntly sums up the situation. While the amount of money spent advertising online continues to increase every year, the heady days of unrestrained exuberance are clearly gone. Pulling no punches, Tchong quips, "online marketing remains just an exciting vision." Even online marketing darlings are not spared as Tchong wisely notes that until an effective "spamicide" is found, the bloom is off the email marketing rose. Better candid than unrealistic.

No dull white paper, Trendscape takes great pains to include photographs, tables and graphs that greatly aid the reader. A comprehensive collection of resources is collected at the end to facilitate further inquiry on a particular topic. Add to that a helpful glossary and Trendscape makes for a nifty reference tool.

The frustrating thing about any trend report is it often raises more questions than it answers. Predicting the future is often foolhardy, but it would be nice if someone could at least look a few steps ahead and prognosticate a bit. If, as Tchong suggests, marketing is "morphing from hardball, in-your-face selling" to "street-team marketing," what does that portend? Should we skip the sales force and just hire shills?

We'll have to buy the next Trendscape report to find out.


Jonathan Jackson is an independent consultant based in New York City. He has written extensively on internet advertising and email marketing since the inception of the internet. A frequent guest speaker, Jonathan has addressed global audiences on marketing and advertising topics and also teaches marketing at colleges around the world.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Jackson Jonathan Jackson is an independent consultant based in New York City. He has written extensively on internet advertising and e-mail marketing since the inception of the internet. A frequent guest speaker, Jonathan has addressed global audiences on marketing and advertising topics and also teaches marketing at colleges around the world.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...