Changing Lanes on the Marketing Autobahn: Drive Carefully in 2011
The more things change, the more they stay the same. You've heard that expression hundreds of times. I believe it is an apt prediction about marketing in 2011 as well. The big difference will be the speed of that change.
Consider what the past year brought us. Facebook topped Google in terms of number of hits in 2010. Social media as a marketing tool moved from novelty to ubiquity. The iPad was announced less than a year ago, became available in April and is projected to reach 28 million units sold in 2011. And online marketing continued to grow unabated taking substantial market share from traditional media.
Still, reports of the death of traditional advertising seem to be greatly exaggerated (like Mark Twain himself who published his autobiography this year). While local newspapers continue to lose business to online advertising, television has enjoyed considerable growth in ad spending.
So what can marketers expect in 2011? Here are my fearless predictions.
- More whiplash. Technology will cause the speed of change to continue accelerating exponentially. Marketers better be wearing their seatbelts.
- Increased use of video. It's been coming for a few years now, but the accessibility and feasibility of producing video and its power to deliver a marketing message will cause a spike in its usage by marketers. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that spending for online video will increase by nearly 40 percent in the coming year. And while quality video is becoming less and less expensive to produce, marketers will be pushed to up their game in quality and creativity.
- The growth of apps will slow, but... The demand for ways to enhance the customer experience with ideas that add speed, convenience and functionality will continue. In the wake of that demand, marketers will be challenged to add software development to their capabilities.
- Social media mistakes. Now that social media is one of the new marketing norms, the rush to blindly jump on the bandwagon will continue – and continue to produce disastrous results. Marketers who don't know how to drive on the Autobahn, probably shouldn't be there.
- Marketing begins at home. Increasingly marketers are waking up to the fact that their messages are only as strong as the faith their employees have in them. I believe this very positive trend will continue in 2011.
- Television's golden egg. Broadcasters (and politicians) need to be sure not to kill their prize goose. Consumers still watch television in relatively large numbers because of its entertainment value. Politicians and other advertisers still buy TV time because of its impact and reach. As more and more airspace is filled with banal political and marketing messages, consumers will take their attention elsewhere. If that happens, everyone loses.
- Brand integration rules the road. Audience fragmentation has led to the fragmentation of media and marketing outlets. The only way to put the pieces back together is the strategic use of integrated marketing communications.
OK, those are my prognostications. What are yours? Let's compare notes as we move down Highway 2011. And be careful out there.
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