Last year around this time, I wrote my first “Cranky But Cranked Up” list, reflecting on the year past and what I thought was to come. As all prognosticators feel compelled to do, it’s time for me to take a look at how I fared and to once again look ahead.
Making Me Cranky in 2006
- Information overload. I’m still cranky about information overload, and it’s only getting worse. Information is coming in even more formats through even more channels, and the more information that’s generated, the more ignorant I feel. What’s worse is I’m more skeptical about the information received, particularly because it’s generated by consumers or agencies misrepresenting consumers. I don’t know if there will be a real correction in the trend because either everyone’s too busy trying to be their own rock star or they just don’t care enough to question the truth anymore. Perhaps those who do don’t have voices loud enough to be heard over the din?
- Blog hype. In the first half of 2006, we were still bombarded by blog hype, but thankfully it was replaced by online video hype. I’m still cranky about what I’m calling “blores,” blog whores who create spam blogs or who just steal content from other writers with reckless abandon. The search engines are doing a better job filtering out these kinds of sites from the top results, but they’re definitely a nuisance — if not worse.
- Unrealistic advertising ROI (define) metrics. The good news about the resurgence in online advertising is though there are still plenty of advertisers with unrealistic expectations, there’s also a lot of news and concrete statistics to mitigate those expectations. In addition, greater adoption of online video advertising provides new avenues for brand advertisers and steers the conversation away from a sheer metrics discussion.
- Unethical media reps. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Now that everyone in online advertising isn’t so desperate anymore, I’ve seen much less of media reps contacting my clients directly.
Making Me Cranky in 2007
- Slow-moving advertisers. The Web is such a fluid environment. Advertisers must be nimble to act on decisions or to make changes to their ad campaigns and sites. Too often, online advertisers miss an opportunity to respond to the marketplace, such as being able to extend their holiday shipping deadlines to accommodate last-minute shoppers. It just doesn’t allow us at agencies to do the best job we can.
Got Me Cranked Up in 2006
- 2006’s rosy outlook. Didn’t that turn out to be the truth? Last year was an incredible year for online media, and I believe 2007 will be even brighter.
- Search industry’s continued growth. Another winner, and a category with more growth ahead.
- Video convergence. I called video the “sleeper hit of 2006,” but it was hardly a sleeper! Video took the Internet by storm and will continue to be huge in 2007. Video ad inventory will still be a problem, as will the lack of uniformity in publishers’ ad creative specifications and user-experienced technical issues.
Getting Me Cranked Up in 2007
- Mobile marketing takes off. It’s been happening, but, as online video did in 2006, mobile marketing will burst onto the mainstream scene in 2007. Phone carriers have been pushing us this way, and the user pump is more primed than ever. Expect advertisers to clamor for acceptable ways to use mobile to reach their audiences… and for user backlash unless users totally control the experience.
- Niche marketing will continue to grow. Since the Web enables us to globally exploit and market to niches like no other media, niche marketing will continue to gain momentum. Watch for me to write about this soon.
- B2B gets serious. Look around most any Internet-anything industry conference. The majority of exhibitors and agendas are focused on the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. Business-to-business (B2B) doesn’t typically make for sexy or exciting advertising, after all. But B2B companies are clamoring for help with online marketing and finally turning outward for help.
- Advertising-only agencies will die. As electronic media assumes higher priority in company marketing strategies, the agencies that will win big will be those that practice multiple disciplines, not just advertising: search marketing, social networking and harnessing the consumer directly, e-mail and viral marketing, mobile marketing, online public relations — the list keeps on growing. Ad agencies won’t die this year, but if ad-only agencies don’t adapt, they’ll eventually perish.