may as well take a stab at it…
1) The relationship between traditional agencies and clients will strengthen, then start to fall apart
The recession means that marketing executives will be wanting to stay with the things that they’re familiar with…meaning traditional advertising. This is bad news for many of us who look to make our coin in the online arena. But in many sectors, the traditionals will not be able to adequately address the then current needs of clients. Cost inefficiencies and the lack of imagination will combine to force marketing executives to look more and more at social media. Most traditional agencies won’t be ready. The changes will begin to be noticeable in late 2009.
2) The conversation is NOT over when it comes to the rules and regulations of social media. They’ll continue. As they should.
Chris Brogan’s sponsored post on Dadomatic taught me this: the guiding principle here will not be what seems to be right, but what works financially. This will start to change our perception of what “is right”.
Take Izea. It’s my guess that many of the bloggers that Izea will use will be the same type of person that the Democratic candidates talked about when they were running for office. Or for that matter, Joe the Plumber. Soon, many of us could look like snobs. I mean, who am I to question a mom of three who lives in blue collar suburb of a fading Midwestern city whose husband was recently laid off and who has a son in Iraq, if she wants to write sponsored posts a few times a month to make ends meet?
It may alter the authenticity a bit, at least in theory, but it’s inevitable and we’ll need to accept that.
3) This year we’ll start to see a better balance between transparency and legal.
As we just saw in the Ford/TheRangerStation incident, the big name company isn’t always wrong and isn’t always blind to social media. Legal isn’t always tone deaf toward the needs of PR. And we also saw that people will give a company a chance if they feel as if they’re being dealt with squarley.
It won’t always be done that smoothly, but it will be more common in the future.
4) Brand marketing will be more greatly tied into customer experience
We’ll see less fluff and more value. We’ll see companies working harder for your dollars. A lot of that will be tied into customer service. Social media will lead the way on this.
5) Ad strategies will be more directly tied into direct sales
Again, the fluff gets reduced and branding for the sake of branding gives way to direct sales and giveaways. Companies may not have time to lay down a long term branding campaign. Those that stress immediate value will win, as long as it’s true.
Many others will try to stress value…but it will be as empty as Motrin’s claim that they “hear” mothers who view babywearing as a fashion statement.
6) Political groups will struggle to find the right balance of top-down
The Obama campaign ensured that politicking has changed for ever. But to what degree? Advocacy organizations, consultants, and political insiders will struggle to find the answer. There will be more slop ups than successes. That’s because traditional types will try to muscle their way in, and they’ll make stupid, boneheaded mistakes.
Most of the groups will try to install pseudo from the bottom up campaigns. These will usually fail. But advocacy organizations nevertheless will NEED to control much of the message as social media strategies find that the variant motives to support a series of issues can create more chaos than that of a singular political candidate.
7) Specialized social media agencies begin to take off
We’ll begin to see social media practices that are more focused on types of individuals. Example: women make most of the purchases for the home. Outreach practices will reflect that reality. This goes to my thoughts that we need to be engaging people on their terms. Moms can relate to moms better.
8) It will no longer be quaint to play the role of the technoboob
CEOs and other business leaders can no longer position themselves as aged idiots. Not funny, not cool, not good for business. John McCain needed help answering his email…John McCain is still a senator from Arizona.
The emergence of India and China will make this a necessity. No more patience for the technoboob. And I can be a bit of a technoboob myself.
9 ) There will be more dumb marketing mistakes by major companies
Plenty of fodder is on the way. Just wait and see. Social media consultants don’t have the stature – yet – of preventing overly produced, overly promotional efforts.
10) Social media on the local level begins to emerge
People will begin to connect locally at a much higher rate than before. Smaller, local companies will need to reach them in some way. Whether it is sponsoring local meetups or conducting localized blogger relations campaigns, it will be a trend.
I could go on and on an on…