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The latest forecast for integrated marketing trends in 2010 suggests that, while marketers are likely to have a hard time, those who understand and apply ten basic principles of recession survival can still come out ahead of the competition, according to marketing consultant Judy Franks of The Marketing Democracy.
Franks' ten key trends and intregrated marketing priniciples for the coming year are as follows:
- Less will get done - until we learn to do more with less
While the year 2009 was generally thought of as the 'great recession', we won't feel its full effects until 2010. Both marketers and their marketing services agency partners are dealing with smaller resources in terms of head-count and budgets. We won't see enough breakthroughs in the marketplace in 2010, simply because marketers and agencies alike have to remain focused on 'getting the work out the door'. According to Franks, the only way to do more with less is to align resources toward a single integrated marketing solution. Individual marketing tactics will become highly tactical to make more out of a smaller budget.
- Marketers will mistakenly alter the marketing mix
With reduced marketing budgets, something has to go. Unfortunately, marketers are already making wholesale cuts to specific marketing and media channels. We've seen the most dramatic cuts so far in print media (i.e. newspapers and magazines). But before marketers follow this route, they must consider whether the remaining media in the marketing mix can compensate for the cuts. Reduced resources should never come at the expense of a properly integrated, multi-channel mix.
- Marketers will rush into social networking strategies
Marketers are already rushing to enter the social networking space with 'tweets', 'widgets', 'apps' and 'fan pages'. However, social networking is not a marketing tactic; nor is it a surrogate for the brand's social experience. It is not a line item on a marketing plan, a specific channel, or a form of content. Rather, it is actually an outcome. No single channel has a lock on the social nature of content, and almost any channel can serve as the originating medium in a journey that can take a great piece of content across multiple channels and into vast networks of consumers' hearts and minds.
- There will be more data, but even less understanding
There are more and more studies emerging from more platforms, whether they be based on set-top boxes, foundations, academics, researchers, marketers or the media. These studies all point to a very different world to come: one that is highly fluid, highly interactive, and quick to change in both structure and form. But the problem will simply be that it is much more difficult to project and predict based on existing data when the market changes speed and direction so rapidly. In the future, the next few years may well be remembered as a 'Wild West' era of integrated marketing.
- Lines between media and channels will continue to blur
In the coming year, more primetime television content will show up in more places than ever before. Fans will have multiple access paths to shows that used to be at a fixed time on a fixed date on a fixed channel, all carefully controlled by network programming executives. Increasingly, it will be harder to tell where one medium ends and another begins.
- Push versus Pull will become less relevant
In 2010, the classification of marketing experiences into 'push' or 'pull' will become less relevant, because the best content (both programming and commercial content) will increasingly become 'push' and 'pull' at the same time. For example, is American Idol a 'push' medium because it is broadcast during primetime, or is it a 'pull' medium, given the plethora of votes, downloads, and chats that result from the broadcast? It works both ways and, given the vast reach of today's social networks, a viral experience that is pulled along by a small group of fans will quickly attain wide reach without too much effort on the part of the originator.
- Great content will travel at the 'speed of share'
In 2010, we will begin to wrestle with our sense of time as messages will increasingly travel at the 'speed of share'. With the click of a mouse, or a mobile phone, consumers can advance a great story to vast, networked communities of like-minded people. This effectively renders the speed of traditional content distribution obsolete. However, content will only travel at this peed if it is worth sharing in the first place. There will be less tolerance of mediocre content, and consumers will find even more ways to dispose of or avoid it.
- The 18-49's will be less relevant as a collective target
The diversity of the 18-49 demographic certainly isn't new, and on the surface shouldn't be cited as a notable trend for 2010. But, when you stop to think about how different the media world is for an 18 year-old compared with a 49 year-old, you might be willing to back away from a target cohort that doesn't seem to work. Every year, the divide between 'internet raised' and 'television raised' consumers becomes more significant, and the end result is a single marketing demographic that now contains at least four different media generations.
- Symbiosis will create interesting - and even strange - partnerships
Many forecasters are predicting wholesale collapses in media channels, but the media and marketing landscape is actually likely to be affected more by symbiosis than by natural selection. Consider the relationship between YouTube and television. What appeared on the surface to be a competing interest continues to evolve in a very beneficial symbiotic relationship. One medium reinforces and amplifies the other. We will continue to see emerging relationships among what appear on the surface to be competing media channels.
- The year 2010 will be 'the year of the good idea'
The recent past suggests that marketers have become excessively focused on the dynamics of channels to such an degree that we may very well have taken our eye off the ball in other important ways. After all, channels serve mainly as pipelines for content, and it is only great content that will be both pushed and pulled at the new speed of share. In other words, without a good idea, the content will simply evaporate.
"So, despite fewer resources, more diversity, and less certainty, it will be the good ideas in 2010 that fuel successful integrated marketing outcomes," concluded Franks.
> The Customer Loyalty Marketing Guide
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