Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year Predictions

Now that we're all well into 2008, it's probably time to reassess goals and targets for 2008. With a predicted downturn in the major Western economies and a proliferation of new ways to interact with customers, the chase for "hearts, minds and wallets" is going to be harder and faster than ever before.

Given everyone else is making predictions, here are mine - I'm not sure why we all feel the need to predict the future but nonetheless I thought I'd also have a go!

My Three Predictions for 2008

  1. Economic downturn adds pressure to marketing budgets again – no new news here but once again, get ready to justify each £,$,€ of investment like never before. If you need help, the first question to ask is whether each element of the marketing mix washes it's own face. What would happen if you dropped each part of the plan? Would you really loose money? If so how much. If you're justifying budgets on "soft" metrics, do you really understand how those metrics translate into meaningful business?
  2. Google to overstretch into traditional media – for a long time, I've been stressing how interesting it will be to see Google get out there any play an important part in the placement of traditional media. From what I've heard and seen, their offline offering doesn't offer the same level of immediate impact and the online one. Since Google haven't pre-brought the real estate from media owners, it's more difficult for them to prove the ROI case, Advertisers in traditional media need to know when an ad will run and where – the Google system doesn't currently guarantee this. Unless Google figure out how to make this work, they risk becoming another trading house and the incumbents will fight long and hard to maintain their existing businesses.
  3. Customer Focus is key – I don't mean any of this "we're going to focus on customer satisfaction" stuff – what I mean by this is a year when customers have more power than ever before to rate and reward good products and services. The focus is on marketers to be seen as advertising and marketing truthfully and with reason. Best not to lie because you'll get found out.

My prediction for marketing analytics is that it will play an increasing role in helping organisations make decisions about which product and customer opportunities to pursue in the coming years. With the prospective downturn in the economy, marketing budgets will come under increasing focus and short term ROI will become a more important metric than longer term branding objectives. This presents a danger for brand builders as highlighted by people such as Len Lodish – the temptation to run a business for short term ROI comes at a potential cost to longer term profits. However try telling this to a Finance Director or MD desperate for some good news for the stock markets.

And finally - for marketingQED, we will be launching some great new products, updating existing products and generally offering exciting new opportunities for marketers to get more value from their marketing investments.

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