As 2008 mercifully draws to a close, we begin to look forward to a new beginning in 2009 -- or at least we can fool ourselves into thinking things will be different as a result of flipping the page on the calendar.

Whether you're inspired by New Year's resolutions, the "change" mantra of our incoming president, or just simply like to mix things up regardless of the month of the year or who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I thought that it might be a good time to explore some new ideas related the online advertising and marketing in 2009.

I polled some colleagues (and added a few thoughts of my own) about what changes they would like to see next year -- with the exception of achieving world peace through increased ad spending -- and these are some of the ideas, musings and nuggets of wisdom that made the cut:


  • Move toward standardized reporting standards so ad networks and analytics can work together to reduce discrepancies and eliminate the need for publishers to use multiple analytics tools to measure performance. 




  • Appoint a Trade Show, Conference and Summit Czar who can make sense of the dizzying number of events in our industry that I can no longer keep track of. The new Czar would also have the power to eliminate events that have no real merit, or are held in the Northeast in the middle of February. This person would also control the selection of speakers to insure that I wouldn't have to hear exact the same group of experts at every event I attend -- except for Gary Vaynerchuk from Winelibrary TV, who should speak at every conference (actually he might already do that).


  • Get beyond shortsighted near-term ROI goals and educate advertisers on the importance of branding for long-term success and long-term ROI.


  • More straight talking and risk-taking. Surviving and succeeding in a slow economy requires that we cut through the clutter to focus on the things that really matter to our business. It also provides opportunity for individuals and companies alike to stand out from the crowd by taking risks and daring to move forward when others will choose to step back, cut back and become more conservative out of fear and uncertainty over when the economy will recover. 


  • Have the ability to find inspiration for my monthly column at any time during the month that is not on the exact same day it has to be submitted to the editor. 


  • The development and adoption of more standards for the social Web. With the expansion of social media across the Web, the potential for increased fragmentation in this space accelerates. With a growing number of social tools, sites and applications built on proprietary platforms, the online community could quickly grow weary of maintaining multiple profiles, connections and conversations across each platform. If you have any ideas on this one, you can contact me on Twitter, yammer, Facebook, LinkedIn, mySpace, email (I think I have 8 of those) IM, Google Talk or iChat.

     While this is far from an exhaustive list, it is a decent place to start. If you were the Czar of Online Publishing, Marketing and Advertising, what changes would you make in 2009?

  • 5 comments about "Ch-Ch-Changes".
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    1. Rachel Dangermond from OTR Global, December 11, 2008 at 10:29 a.m.

      Amen to your bullet number two - a conference czar - how brilliant. We are all swimming in the same dirty pond and our way out is getting murkier instead of clearer. The thousands of conferences that have sprung up to educate and elucidate instead obfuscate and incarcerate us in the same freeze frame. We need conferences that disrupt the status quo, that challenge advertisers to move beyond being mere lemmings, and we need to hear from leaders at these conferences that someone, somewhere knows what the hell is going on in media. And not doing this in February in New York is the first step!

    2. Susan Peiffer from Virtual Conent, December 11, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

      Thanks, Kory... now I have that Bowie song in my head!
      Well said, and I especially agree with you on the need to standardize reporting.

      Let's see, if I were the Czar I would have to say we need more industry research showing how all forms of Internet marketing (Web 2.0, SEO, PPC, display, etc.) feed off of each other to foster exponential growth of a business/brand... kind of like the 1+2=6 theory, only broader and based on actual case studies.

    3. Richard Markus, December 11, 2008 at 12:08 p.m.

      As a medium-sized publisher with a devoted and valuable audience (but often invisbile to agency media planners), I'd like to see agencies and advertisers break their dependency on third party panel-based traffic reporting tools. These services are prohibitively expensive for long tail, and even medium tail publishers. But more importantly, the panel-based methodologies severely under-report traffic and incorrectly report demographics.

    4. Gieo Pensoneault from G3 Media Group, December 11, 2008 at 2:21 p.m.

      On the issue of social / profile fragmentation, id love to see a standardization of basic profile development, so that profiles could be brought across platforms, much like contact info is brought across now.

      A social media panel controller would also be great, you could check on activity and select the social environment to engage. Bringing all the environments into one place. A combination of a Delicious like tagging tool, bringing all your spaces into one locaiton, like a channel tuner for social.

    5. John Doyle from Peachtree Media Advisors, Inc., December 12, 2008 at 5 p.m.

      I love it, a conferenc Czar!

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