I find myself quoting Randall Rothenberg, Chairman of the IAB, more and more these days. Earlier this month, Randy proclaimed that "the Web has been colonized by the evil aliens of the direct-response planet." In saying this, he acknowledged what others have also felt for some time -- that the precision of online media is a both blessing and a curse for marketers. Left unchecked for way too long, online advertising has been overrun by tactics and success measures that are singularly suited for direct marketers and are not so effective for brand builders.
It's a simple formula: Recession requires more tactical spending. This year's budget = + online spend + social activity + lead generation campaigns - brand investment. When the dollars get tight, spend shifts to more tangible, less expensive marketing programs with the promise of shorter-term returns (or at least lower costs). Not that there's anything wrong with saving a few bucks wherever you can get the job done more efficiently. But when saving money becomes the goal instead of a guideline, something big always suffers -- and it's usually the brand.
When I look back at my 2009 predictions, I feel pretty good about my hit rate. Of course predictions are always a tricky business, especially ones about the future. So herewith, three trends I think will shape the online metrics business over the next 12 months. Let's call them trends, not predictions.
"Love, respect, community and money" tied into one word. That is what Rod Tidwell was describing to Tom Cruise's character in the movie "Jerry Maguire" when he declared that he was after the "Kwan." A favorite word of mine, it sums up what marketers have always been in search of in reaching the right "audience" with their message. Marketers want to reach those users who have love and respect for their products, will build community around their brand -- and, of course, have money to complete the purchase.
Yogi Berra said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Yet the turn of the year (and the decade) make forecasting an irresistible temptation. But what if forecasting is part of your job, not just a hobby? How do make sure your forecasts are smart, relevant, and even (dare I say) accurate?