With the countdown to the New Year fast approaching, annual “best of/worst of” lists, forward-thinking forecasts and soon-to-be-broken resolutions are all the rage. Not to be left out of the fun—but not quite ready to share our weight-loss goals or the bad habits we’ll break—here’s our predictions for the world of marketing in 2010: hang on; it’s going to be quite the ride!
Brands—and their agencies—are used to being in control of marketing messages. But as the marketplace becomes more digitally enabled, and content and popular opinion become very “sharable,” consumers will get more information from other consumers than from the brands themselves. The agency’s emerging role will be to help clients facilitate—not control—dialog about their brand.
—Eva LaMere, Executive Vice President
Coming up with the “big idea” will be replaced with the “big seed” idea. Creativity will be measured on its buzz-worthiness and ability to not just persuade, but to make the brand useable and build strong consumer affinity.
—Rick Chiorando, Chief Creative Officer
Predictive Analytics and targeting will become a top priority. I believe we’ll need to stay very focused on targeting the right audience, and Predictive Analytics will play a greater role. There are going to be fewer dollars to chase people with, and using lifestyle segmentation and other targeting options in our arsenal will become increasingly important.
—Ken Greenberg, President & Chief Executive Officer
Clients will be conducting more research to gain a better understanding of perceptions of potential consumers and their mindset as it is changing in the current economic state.
—Carolyn Cavalcante, Account Supervisor
Localization will be a big topic in 2010. We already see social networking sites that allow users to focus on a specific geographic region. Many smart phones have the ability to geotag photos and videos, and Twitter already has a great search tool that includes location as an option, but will soon offer users the ability to see trending topics by region. Also, expect to see more integration with social media across the Web that further blurs the line between Web sites and social networking sites. Corporate home pages will begin to show blog posts instead of news, latest tweets and real-time conversation.
—Nathan King, Art Director
Social media is changing the marketing playing field every day. We’ll continue to need to look at ways to market our message on a one-to-one level. This means exploring and implementing engaging tactics that offer our target audiences an opportunity to experience our brand, our products. We can no longer just “push” a message out there to the masses and expect to drive them to action.
—John Leary, Senior Art Director
Demand for Search Engine Marketing (SEO & SEM) services will continue to grow in 2010, as Web site owners will continue to demand the acquisition of new (and returning) qualified traffic and customers to their Web site. Search will continue to evolve into an important marketing vehicle, as the Internet continues to grow as the largest medium. Some challenges, all of which are very exciting, up and coming in the SEO industry will be the continuing growth on Local and Personalized Search, and two which will be discussed more this coming year will be Mobile and Vocal search. In addition, the beginning of Real Time Search will bring Social Media and SEM even closer together.
—Tim Eschenauer, Associate Art Director
Web, mobile and social media options will continue to outpace and outperform more traditional media outlets. Web site redesigns and redevelopments will be a top priority for many and a big budget items. “Cool tools” such as live chat, games—anything interactive—and links between main sites and social networking sites will now become standard on Web sites for everything from colleges and universities to retail shops and financial institutions.
—Megan Kilgallen, Account Executive
Mobile marketing will be the “it” medium in 2010. With more consumers acquiring smart phones, more advertisers will be seeking ways to reach these people via their phone – from coupons to apps to videos. Like Social Media, advertisers are still learning how to use mobile devices to reach their consumers without infringing on their privacy.
—Maureen Quinn, Vice President of Media Services
In the U.S., mobile couponing is emerging in three ways: 1. Through text messages, which is most common. Consumers text in a short code and receive a coupon in return. 2. Through an MMS message in a multimedia format. This less-widely supported method sends a two-dimensional bar code with an image, logo or brand in a barcode to be redeemed when scanned in-store. 3. The least common example is Web-based fulfillment where the coupons appear on mobile Web sites. Combined, these forms of mobile couponing are taking off in a way that mobile advertising hasn’t yet.
—Helen O’Rourke, Media Buyer
With more and more people getting their information online—or on their cell phone—we’re going to continue to see even more of an emphasis on copy that works harder, from both a straight communications and an SEO perspective. We’re definitely in the era of “less is more”—there’s no time (or space) for fluff.
—Barbara Esposito, Copy Chief
We won’t see revolutionary design trends for 2010, more like evolutionary. With the consumers’ need for speed, the message will become the driving force, which will be difficult for hardcore design studios to swallow. With newspapers being reduced to newsletters and magazines being removed from the stands, we will see a shift in Web design that follows a more magazine-like feel, with articles that are concise and to the point with splashes of color that guide the eye.
—Ron Dylnicki, Senior Art Director
This year saw an introduction of new banner ad sizes and that will continue in 2010. In addition to more prominent ad sizes, watch for ad formats to deliver more in-depth product information. Product preview and inventory data-based banners, for example, are allowing consumers to check the availability of an automobile or the size of a pair of jeans within the confines of a display ad.
—Neil Esposito, Associate Creative Director
Ad space sales will begin to rebound in the coming months, especially as we head into 2010. In the meantime, advertisers will make more of the space by creating highly targeted campaigns. Outdoor (out-of-home) advertising options, including but not limited to, billboards, vehicle wraps, table clings and street teams, will gain market share as they continue to be one of the best ways to reach people as they go about their daily lives.
—Henry Luhmann, Director of Production Services
Since the internet and social media are where the major shift in advertising is heading (or is already there), I think newspapers and magazines will continue to be hit hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if many publications disappear.
—Rita OConnor, Media Coordinator
I believe there will be more direct mail with intricate personalization for each mailing. The mailings will be smaller, but deliver a much more successful response because of the personalization.
—Rob Williams, Data Systems Manager
Direct mail is not dead! A recent study by the Direct Marketing Association found that nearly 70 percent of consumers prefer to receive announcements and information on new products from companies they are familiar with via conventional mail. Successful mail must be a direct, targeted, person-to-person communication.
—Sallianne Nicholls, Director of Mail Services
—Robert Harrison, Director of Interactive Services
Augmented Reality (know as AR) is ready for prime time in 2010. Many people have already experienced AR on a fall Sunday afternoon—that little yellow line that helps you know just how for your favorite football team needs to go to get a first down is one of the most widely used (and simplistic) examples of AR. With the furiously growing segment of smart phones enabled with GPS, video capabilities and faster and faster processors, AR will soon become the new way people perform local searches. Why look at a flat map when you can look around and see what is around you, how far it is, and the best route to take to get there? With more and more laptops being cranked out with Webcams as a standard feature and visual recognition software starting to come of age, along with the successful porting of AR to the Adobe Flash platform, we could start to see entire Web sites that are AR enabled, or at least offer the option to interact with an entire site via AR.
—Jay Eckert, Interactive Designer & Developers
2010 will be “The Year of Value Billing.” Clients will recognize and reward the intellectual property produced by advertising agencies.
—Sandra Drucker, Chief Financial Officer
Happy New Year!