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fortune_teller.jpg2007’s going to be a phenomenal year for online marketing and communication. I foresee four major trends for 2007:
1. 2007 will be the year of collaboration and intellectual partnership, internally and externally
Right now, the marketing staff of a large company’s many divisions may not even know, let alone work in cooperation with, their counterparts in other divisions. They’ll often be busy working toward the same goals without benefit of cooperation between them – resulting not only in wasted time, effort and money, but often in poor solutions.
Companies that understand that commodity is a zero sum game, will begin to not only allow, but reward collaboration and intellectual partnership. As a result, in smart companies, innovation will be bottom up, rather than top down.
Even more excitingly, the trend toward collaboration between companies and between companies and the public will continue. Proctor & Gamble has done exciting work in this area, as have Wharton School of Business and Pearson Publishing and companies like Innocentive
2. A new 3D virtual world will surpass Second Life in popularity and lead the race toward a 3D, real-time Internet shopping experience.
A MMORPG — (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) a genre of online computer role-playing games (RPG) — that doesn’t require a software download will be released and will gain widespread popularity.
The vast majority of corporations don’t allow download of Second Life software because they see the metaverse as a game. In fact it is a pre-cursor of the Internet’s future.
My bet on the company that will introduce the most successful shopping metaverse is oddcast. The firm has developed incredibly life-like avatars for marketing for companies including Career Builder, American Express, Purina, Starbucks and Lenovo, who’ve experienced as much as a 250% increase in conversions as a result. Adi Sideman alluded to a possible announcement in this area in the early part of 2007 when I interviewed him recently for an upcoming MarketingProfs case study.
3. Blog advertising will become the hot ad medium of the year and ad agencies will screw up big-time as they learn the ropes.
Savvy advertisers have already learned that it is possible to have outrageously high click through and conversion rates through obscenely cheap and highly targeted blog advertising.
Bloggers won’t tolerate invasive, annoying, flashing, heavy-handed ads, and agencies will stumble as they try to understand the type of advertising that can beat any traditional medium, hands down, when properly executed. I have consistently achieved click thru rates as high as .857%, and averaging .268% with niche-focused blog ads.
People who read blogs are looking for specialized, high-touch information from experts in particular areas. The right ads directed to those niche audiences can work wonders.
4. Widgets in new Mac and PC operating systems will introduce millions to truly customizing their online experience.
The age of invasive advertising is over and companies will have an enormous branding experience if they provide/sponsor the information people need and want to see every day in widgets.
Essentially, widgets are a way to provide RSS feeds in a frame the user loads onto the page or site of their choice. They allow people to use stupidly named RSS feeds without understanding that they are transferring code.
By lightly branding widgets, companies that provide information consumers want to keep on their desktop or home page have the enormous opportunity to have their brand name in front of customers every day in a positive, almost submliminal way.
It’s going to be a great year online.