I guess this is the time to make some predictions. This is by no means exhaustive and some are more important than others. Here they are but not particular order of importance other than just some random thoughts at this time of the year in front of my fireplace. If you have some good ones to add, pls send them this way.
Innovation and Design Rules. Marketers' ingenuity will continue to expand as the competitive marketplace challenges brands and even business survival. Efficiency has reached its limit and innovation is the new competitive advantag. Companies will turn to "design" and "deisgn thinking" to help fuel innovation There is no turning back -- and design will rule.
Digital Agencies Rise To The Top. : Marketing will become "Experiential". The category “Digital Agencies” will gain new meanings and power as client demand thought leadership in this innovation-driven environment. Roster agencies based on channel will become redundant as clients look to task based allocation of accounts, covering disciplines and channels. Ad agencies realize the need to change from creating ads to creating experiences but need to team up with innovation strategists.
The rise of the Internet is forcing ad executives to reinvent how they create ads and even changing the way some ad companies are organized. But until now, few advertisers have spent more than 5% to 10% of their marketing budgets online. With the growth of online video and social networking, expect it will jump to 10%-18%, some can be as high as 25%.
Privacy and Radical Transparency: It's the new generation gap, a divide between those who relish privacy and those who doesn’t care a big deal want to show and tell all. For that "don’t care what you know about me" generation will be the new norm. Organization and general consumers will become hyper sensitive to privacy issues. With "digital-intrusion" issues as paramount consumer concerns, marketers struggle to find a balance. With every piece of data requested or collected, marketers will be required to work hard to provide real justification and allow the consumer to control that information. Personalization and certain convenience come at a price.
The Beginning of the Baby Boomers’ Century -from the Beatles to Botox. This is unarguably the largest macro trend in decades, the baby boomer market, defined as American consumers born between the years of 1946 and 1964 and the current aggregate income of baby boomers is $4.1 trillion, and as boomers are in their prime earning years, this much targeted demographic is even more important to - and poses a greater challenge for - marketers than it has been in the past. This powerful generation will determine the survival of many brands and companies. It doesn't matter where the Boomers are in the world; they are the largest buying force in history, for all goods and services and particularly for the travel, healthcare and CPG industry. And three out of four baby boomers say they have no intention of seeking full retirement. So ask your organization if they have a “Boomer” Strategy?
Green Self-image, Sustainable Living and Eco-fatigue. With the environment finally becoming part of the media main agenda, consumers are now actively thinking green, maintaining personal green image will finally become a real opportunity for marketers. Green Apparel: Whether it's fashion-forward, eco-chic or conscious clothing, one thing is certain: Green apparel is hot. Each process, each material used is being looked at with new eyes. Give me a green option, make it effortless, and make it very visible too please. At the same time we will be increasingly suffering from eco-fatique. We will get tired being told and reminded and at the same time frustrated that how little we can do.
Kitchen Appliances As The New Power Tools. Not only will they become the new power tools (I am suggesting Beck and Decker should enter this business), but also the culinary intelligence center. Imagine your kitchen properly organized as a system (like those professional power tools set). Imagine a kitchen capable of running itself: where your fridge keeps track of the family groceries, suggesting evening meals based on what's in stock, each family member’s preferences and the nutritional needs supplied by your dietitian or hemotherapist. It will become the spiritual heart of the home and the new battlefront for marketers.
A few more here:
Social Networks Will Power Knowledge Management. 2008 is when social networking will finally get down to business, not only with career-oriented networks like LinkedIn as well as enterprise apps on other networks, people will figure how tacit knowledge can be captured within corporate social networks.
The Rise and Rise of Apple. With Vista being a major disappointment and annoying nuisance to many, Apple continues its innovation path with new products, soars with brand power and creates true innovative products and experiences, 2008 will finally be the year that Apple rises over Microsoft.
From Handbag to Hand Luggage. Women are carrying more and more in their bad and these bags are getting bigger and heavier. With all these electronics and chargers) competing for space in the handbag with cosmetics and large Bulgari sunglasses. The weight carried in our handbags has grown to such an extent that major retailers like are requesting their suppliers toughen straps and stitching to make them more durable (Unless you buy a Louis Vuitton). However, this is not good news, big and heavy bags can have a cumulative effect on body posture and cause back strain. It is not uncommon to see women carrying two bags these days. The days of small handbag for ladies are long gone. I missed seeing well dressed ladies using those little Channel bags.