What comes after zombies, and 6 other predictions for the future.

22 Nov

I spent the weekend in a medically induced trance, meditating on emerging advertising and marketing trends and what we’re likely to see coming our way next year. My top 7 predictions:

1. Zombies rule for the foreseeable future. Obviously zombies won’t die….they’ll just slowly rot away until they are like that limbless crawler in the first episode of The Walking Dead. They’re tough little bastards actually. Way more persistent than vampires. Expect them to be slouching around for a while. Heck, the ad world is just waking up to them. See what I mean here.

2. It’s all about the thumbs from here on in folks. Smartphones can do it all. They’re cheaper, cooler and way more versatile. We’ll hang on to our old laptops but upgrade to the lastest Smartphone. Expect to see a mother-lode of advertising dollars go mobile.

3. Advertising with motion booms; motionless advertising busts. You don’t have to have a million dollar TV production and media budget to have a breakout video presence anymore. People are filming and editing spots on their iPhones now, posting them in blogs, on websites, Facebook and of course, YouTube. Video and interactive advertising rules because you can suddenly afford it. Print and posters and the old school stuff, already experiencing huge volume declines, continue their grim-faced journey south.

4. Creativity will be re-born. If 2010 was all about the science of advertising taking hold (targeting, analytics, optimization), 2011 will be about The Big Idea strutting back to centre stage. Creativity has always been at the heart of successful marketing, but the rapid recent changes in digital media and consumer behaviour have forced advertisers to get their houses in order pronto. That now well underway, the pendulum swings back to what makes agencies valuable in the first place: murderous ideas.

5. Direct Mail is going to get whacked. As marketers find ever-more effective ways of harnessing data through online behaviour, the traditional snail-mail approach is going to sharply decline. Don’t expect to see it come back. It’s expensive, it’s resource heavy and it takes too long to produce and deliver.

6. Facebook becomes popular. The addictive, eco-systemic nature of Facebook makes monkeys out of the competition. Location-based monster platform? Check. Search functionality? With all your personal preferences aggregated and algorithms on the loose, how far away can social search really be?

7. Research, Engage and Optimize will become the new mantra for ad agencies. If it isn’t targeted, it’s wasted. If it doesn’t create engagement, it’s too easy to ignore. If it isn’t optimized, researching and engaging are pointless.

Have your say. Got a prediction for the 2011? We’d love to hear it.

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13 Responses to “What comes after zombies, and 6 other predictions for the future.”

  1. Eden November 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    It’s time to get rid of vampires anyway.

    It’s going to be a sad day when Facebook eventually goes away, even if only because of the billions of photos archived… Or maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

    • dougbrowncreative November 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

      Eden, predicting the imminent demise of Facebook would be unwise. It will continue to grow and consume all life forms until it is unrecognizable from its current state. It’s an implacable monster whose power we feed daily.

      As far as vampires are concerned, yes, stake through their rotted, bloodsucking hearts.

  2. variedthinking November 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Abobe and Microshit will merge to form the biggest software company in the world and still not be able to make any inroads into defeating the evil Apple. The reason is because Abobe and Microshit can’t seem to write any software that is secure.

    Apple with bring out iPhone 5 that dispenses beer since there’s a app for that.

    I might even be able to find a job and stop pissing you off since then I’ll be pissing someone else off

  3. dougbrowncreative November 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    I have to disagree with you Variedthinking. I don’t think you’ll be able to find a job. 😉

  4. Anonymous November 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Hey – I have a sort-of unrelated question. Seeing as companies are starting to build iPhone apps to represent their storefront in some digital form – who would design and build those apps? Do we go to guys like you Doug? The lines are all getting so crossed I can’t see straight…

  5. Sandy November 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Oh, Anonymous is me. Sandy.

  6. dougbrowncreative November 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    > Anonymous, you sure can come to people like us. We can concept these and work with the app builders.

    > Sandy, ok. Hi it’s me, Doug.

  7. Anonymous Sandy November 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Oh Doug! It is you!

    Re Apps: I’ve been looking into this a wee bit. There’s all these pre-form app builders out there for the unsophisticated end-user to make their own. The whole thing troubles me a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good app, even coming from brands – providing they add value – but now it seems that apps are morphing into yet another form of online advertising. Are they?

    What the hell is going on out there Doug?

    • dougbrowncreative November 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

      They really have always been a form of advertising. They are engagement tools that bring you closer to the brand. Which is a good strategy if, as you say, they add value.

  8. variedthinking November 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the encouragement Mr Brown.

  9. dougbrowncreative November 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Just leg-pulling there Variedthinking. You have too much intellectual energy to be sitting on the sidelines.

  10. variedthinking November 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    Copeland Communications’ blog goes primetime, but has to get a facelift.

    • dougbrowncreative November 23, 2010 at 5:27 am #

      We would be in complete agreement on that prediction!

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