Looking Ahead To 2010

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As we approach the final days of 2009, lists get lots of attention. Whether our own list of resolutions for the new year, or the “best of 09”, everyone seems to love making, and reading, those lists. I admit to a favorite from AdWeek2009’s Most Effective Ads. It’s no surprise that predictions for the year ahead also get lots of attention now, though I’m not sure how often anyone goes back to see if any of them panned out.
There are encouraging 2010 marketing predictions coming from Marketing magazine’s Matt Granfield, who seems to be the only one out there willing to check back on his predictions for last year before making some for 2010. His record was as good, or better, than anyone’s. My particular favorites from his latest crop of predictions include the death of the term “social media”, the continuing pressure to show the world what you’re doing to help the environment and how mobile technology is sure to be bigger than its ever been.
In a very well researched review of marketing predictions, blogger Mike Sweeney’s take on predictions for 2010 offers a smart re-cap of what the experts are saying. Skip over the part of this piece that discusses lists for now*, and get right down to the predictions he considered. Another post by well regarded web marketer David Siteman Garland from November 2009 is made based on his work “in the trenches” as well as interviews with experts in order to come up with predictions for next year.
Surprisingly, both lists echo some of the same themes…

  • any business that’s survived 2009 is in a great place now.
  • big brands will now have to do what you’ve always done, manage with tiny budgets, using every resource out there.
  • you must know your customers, what they find interesting, what they need.
  • you know how to treat customers like gold, as you have in the past.
  • customer service that’s innovative and consistent wins out.

Predictions for 2010 ad spending made by three forecasters in a recent piece by advertising columnist Stuart Elliot of the New York Times all suggest that worldwide spending will increase over 2009 levels, but won’t bounce back quickly. It’ll be several years (maybe until 2012) before ad spending returns to where it was in 2007–2008. Advertising market forecasters predict advertising spending to move from the more traditional areas to the Internet, which may well take over the place print newspapers have held for so long.
As for which companies to watch in 2010, writer Om Malik predicts there will be a “fabulous five” who will make headlines next year, just as they have this year. There are familiar names on the list. AppleAmazonComcastFacebook and Twitter.
Before you take any prediction to heart, whether for 2010 or the future, keep in mind that many don’t materialize despite the best intentions of the experts. Of course this doesn’t stop us from trying to look into the future. News organization MSNBC is one of many outlets that have made the effort to put past “doomsday” predictions in context… timely considering the onslaught of 2012 doom out there.
Makes me think that if predictions like these were truly possible, why haven’t there been any we’ve heard about for disasters like 9/11? Anybody…
* BTW, on that list thing… a list from Rebecca Bowe that appeared in December offers a different perspective on news events of the year just past. Check out The Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2009.

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