Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ADMAVEN's 2009 Advertising Predictions

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.

It's been an interesting first week of 2009. The wheels haven't fallen off our shaky economy yet, and despite our tendency to only report bad news, it seems as though things are not as hopeless as we imagined in Q4 2008.

With that in mind, here are my predictions for 2009:

1) Existing client revenue will be stagnant, but not drop off sharply. 2009, for advertising, will be a year of slow growth as clients recover from last year and remain wary of spending large amounts on any one campaign. I don't expect to see a huge number of layoffs and reorganizations on the agency side (there will be some, of course).

2) Agencies (PR and Advertising) will diversify. Advertising agencies, seeking to provide a holistic solution for clients, will hire PR professionals to manage public facing conversations. The advent of social media and the realities of having honest, open discussion about brands will demand it. In turn, PR agencies will hire individuals who have had experience pitching and executing creative campaigns, with particular interest in rebranding and new product launches.

3) 2.0 strategies will be more palatable. Smaller budgets and the desire to be more frugal will make 2.0 much more attractive to medium and large companies around the world. Social media will play a big role in this development, and agencies poised to bring a solid, procedural model with built in metrics will find new business quickly.

4) There will NOT be an upheaval in the advertising business. Things will continue, for the most part, as they did in 2008. There will be no coup by weblebrities and social media experts to found "killer" agencies. Relationships, as always in business, will still be the most important determining factor as businesses make decisions in 2009.

5) Innovation will remain the single most important core competency in agency-land. The ability to bring fresh ideas to the table - both internally and externally - in a time of economic difficulty will be seen as the leading indicator of success in 2009.

Hope you enjoyed reading my semi-optimistic view; good luck to everyone in 2009!
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