My crystal ball is positively glowing with anticipation about 2004. Here's the good news. Marketers are waking up and smelling the prospects, craving innovative and efficient ways to build
their brands. Budgets are blossoming and the traditional media approaches are being challenged at every turn of the TV dial (okay, I know there are no more dials but think of it as a metaphor for lost
The seemingly sudden disappearance of young male couch potatoes bodes well for guerrillas who have long considered Network TV a wasteland of inefficiency and lost promise. 2004 will belong to the connectors, those marketers prepared to replace CPM with TWB (time with brand) as the real measure of success.
Rich brand experiences, whether online or off, will
reward marketers and consumers alike providing a fair exchange of value. These experiences will start the buzz, not because they are tragically hip but because they are built upon a genuine
consumer insight. These experiences will be multi-tiered, starting offline and extending online for a long-term dialogue. And vice versa.
Here's the bad news ... Online guerrilla
activity will explode, then implode, as marketers over-exploit blogs, IM-ing, games and viral movies. The proliferation of blogs will create a density of blabber that will collapse under the
weight of its uselessness. IM environments, a fresh tool in 2003, will lose their appeal as marketers forget to add the fun factor in favor of the hard sell. Offline guerrilla
marketers will explore new territory, especially Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, hoping to persuade before they annoy (fat chance!).
And finally some more good news, stealth marketing will be
abandoned by all but the truly desperate as enlightened marketers no longer confuse deception with the noble art of building brands. Okay, one can dream.