It wouldn’t be the New Year without both predictions and resolutions.
So, I’ll get the easy one out the way first – Resolutions…
After failing to keep resolutions every single year of my life – I’m taking a rather more holistic approach. This is partly because 1) I think it is healthier than ‘giving something up and punishing oneself’ and 2) because if I don’t manage it – no-one will be able to tell!
So, my resolutions are:
Onto predictions, if my resolutions are generic and personal, my predictions are marketing specific. We could be here for a while if every facet of life was examined after all…
So, in no particular order:
Light a lot of fires and see what catches on
I’ll be honest. I don’t get brand planning for 2 years in advance. The reason being that it is impossible to tell what the world will look like then and what lifestage the brand and consumers will be at. Social media in particular has meant that ideas spread in different ways than before. The idea of a big brand idea every year is nonsensical in many ways and more effective will be seeding a range of different ideas and investing further into those that take off. We may be easing out of recession but many lessons of frugality appear to be sticking and this approach minimises risk and ensures relevancy
In 2009, lots of brands got a big thumbs up for positive customer experiences…and lots bombed for providing negative experiences. It doesn’t take much for a brand to show that it cares (before a problem often arises in many instances). This is a year when brands will be looking to actively improve their relationships with consumers by providing positive experiences regardless of whether financial transactions are taking place.
2009 was all about digital. And everyone became so obsessed that they began to believe that every other element of the marketing mix was irrelevant. You can do all the online marketing in the world, but face-to-face is vitally important and nothing really replaces it. And if the experience is a good one, it will merge into the digital arena as people talk about the event on social networks, tag photos, post reviews etc. 2010 is going to be the year of fantastic events.
Mobile (and Android in particular)
Mobile has been ‘the next big thing’ for ages. I remember going to seminars preaching the benefits of ‘bluetooth’ push messaging 5 years ago that promised the world but until the iPhone 3G came along this wasn’t a reality. This year, with a tranche of new phone releases, we can expect some amazing applications that make use of portability, touch screens and improving network coverage. And if the iPhone looks unassailable in January – my prediction is that android handsets will be in pole position by December
The immediate opportunity for retailers is not so much in transactional mobile websites, but in getting exposure on mobile portals such as review and price comparison websites, which shoppers will increasingly turn to before making purchases in store. Never knowingly undersold will become more relevant than ever before.
The second coming of ‘Green’
‘Green’ issues took a back seat last year. Survival became more important than the greater good. This year, the pressure will grow to show consumers what is being done to reduce your carbon footprint than ever before. Governments around the world are now actually serious about it. Climate change is real and it is going to be interesting to watch companies of all sizes follow suit.
One sign-in fits all
Facebook Connect, Open ID and even AOL to an extent allow me to log in to different applications without setting up brand new user names specific to small sites that I may just want to leave a comment on. I predict these universal log ins will continue to grow and that we might even get to a stage where we can pay for something using a Facebook login.
The only thing we can be sure of is uncertainty. New technologies and creative ideas will come to the fore that we didn’t imagine possible. Some will sink as quickly as they arrived and some will sculpt the way we live our lives on a day to day basis. Besides, where is the excitement in knowing everything in advance? That would be really boring…