AdWeek: Top Digital Advertising Trends for 2010


AdWeek recently published a list “Top Digital Trends for 2010” that provides an interesting perspective from the Advertising Industry’s point of view.  When you think what has happened in the last 10 years from the advertising and media industry’s perspective, you realize their industry has been totally disrupted.  Traditional business models that worked from the 50’s through the 90’s are all at risk as the digital world is rocking their boat.

Here’s my summary of AdWeek’s list of digital trends for 2010.

  1. Content at Scale.  AdWeek uses AOL as an example of a company that is trying to figure out how scale up to produce content that people (and advertisers) want at as low a price as possible.
  2. The End of the Digital Agency.  Adweek says line is blurring between digital and traditional ad agencies as the digital agencies try to scale up with new services and the traditional agencies develop expertise in the digital world.
  3. Social Gaming.  AdWeek uses examples like FourSquare and Zynga to demonstrate that people are spending real money on virtual goods and services.  Marketers need to learn how to leverage this trend in their marketing efforts.
  4. Demand-Side Platforms.  Adweek says that in 2010, internet advertising will remain inefficient to buy and sell, but there are some innovations that could disrupt the digital publishing landscape with more automation.
  5. Engagement Pricing.  In 2010, we should all expect some progress to be made in the area of new pricing mechanisms that better reflect goals of the ad strategy. 
  6. Augmented Reality Grows Up.  Adweek expects AR and mobile to converge in 2010 to provide an array of useful services.
  7. Social Media Morphs into Digital.  2010 will be the year when publishers and marketers will look at social as an integral part of their digital strategy, rather than a stand-alone area for experimentation.
  8. Privacy Wars.  AdWeek expects that focus on consumer privacy to heat up again in 2010 as consumer’s demand more ways to opt-out of ads they don’t want and opt-out of all the ad tracking tools.
  9. Data Gets Creative.  AdWeek says that in 2010, more and more advertisers will integrate data visualization technologies into their programs in order to help consumer find interesting trends and then act on that information
  10. The Year of Mobile, Finally.  AdWeek says after many years of predicting that mobile advertising will take off,  2010 should be the inflection point, thanks to location-based services.

All ten trends are ones that will be interesting to watch.  I’m especially going to be watching #3, #7, and #10.  For more detail behind each of the ten trends above, check out AdWeek’s article at Top Digital Trends for 2010

VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010

venturebeat_logo There was an article published at the end of December that I thought those in interested in the venture capital trends for 2010 might want to read.  The article appeared on the VentureBeat site and was written by two partners at Grotech Ventures.  It caught my eye as it discussed where money might be flowing in 2010.

A quick summary of the article:

  • Social Media.  The authors say that social media will be a hot sector.  While there are still many questions about how to monetize the conversational and real-time nature of social media, the authors expects social media to move towards profitability in 2010.
  • Cloud Computing.  The authors expect money to continue to flow to the cloud in 2010.  The financial value of cost savings, infrastructure savings and productivity enhancement will drive continued investment. 
  • Prosumer Technologies.  The authors say this space will fizzle in 2010 and we will see a re-separation of consumer and professional devices, having a trickle-down effect on the ecosystems of startup companies developing for the iPhone, Droid, and other platforms.   It’s interesting to read this view as Deloitte recently came out with their 2010 Technology Predictions (Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010), and one of those predictions was that the Prosumer trend will continue to be hot and cause disruption for IT departments.
  • Freemium Model.   The authors say that start-ups should understand that the gap between free and paying customers is widening. As customer attention spans shorten, their brand loyalty diminishes as well.  Users tend to move move on to the next trendy, free offering.  This will put pressure on providers to innovate at an incredibly rapid pace in order to keep pace with market demand.  For more on the freemium business model, see Wikipedia’s article on Freemium.

Check out the full article at VentureBeat “Venture Capital 2010:  Hot (and cold) sectors to watch”.

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

Deloitte: Eight Media Predictions For 2010

Deloitte 2010 Media Predictions My last post provided a summary of seven technology predictions from Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry group.  In this post I will provide a summary of Deloitte’s predictions for the media industry.  

Deloitte covers a wide range of topics in these predictions, including demand for on-demand TV, the integration of television and the web and the short-term prospects for 3D television.

Here’s my summary of Deloitte’s eight predictions for media…

  1. Linear's got legs: the television and radio schedule stays supreme.   Deloitte says that most content will continue to be consumed according to broadcasters' programming schedules.   I’d have to agree here, I don’t see this changing dramatically in 2010…or for the next few years.
  2. The shift to online advertising: more selective, but the trend continues.  Deloitte sees this trend accelerating and as a result advertisers will look for better ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising online.
  3. eReaders fill a niche, but eBooks fly off the (virtual) shelves.  Deloitte says that eReaders will not have a breakout year, but we should expect more and more users to download eBooks to their current devices.  For myself, I do find myself downloading e-books every once in a while to my desktop.  But only to skim them, not to read them like I would a book.   While I like the general idea of a Kindle, I think I will wait until there is an e-paper version.
  4. Publishing fights back: pay walls and micropayments.  In 2010, Deloitte says that traditional newspapers and magazines will continue to try to find ways they can charge for online content.  I think this is an uphill battle for the newspapers and magazines.  I can’t see paying for their content online when similar content is available for free.
  5. Music as a service rises up the charts.  Deloitte says music on mobile devices will be hot and at the same time the major industry players will be experimenting more with subscription based music service offerings.  I do see this as a growth area.  However, my 3 year old iPod Nano serves my needs just fine.
  6. TV and the Web belong together, but not necessarily on the same screen.  Deloitte says that the trend towards convergence of the TV/Web experience will continue.  My vision is two screens on the wall side by side.   That is how I work at my desk.  I have a TV on the right side of my desk and a display monitor in the middle.
  7. Video-on-demand takes off – thanks to the vending machine.  Deloitte says that while growth in the internet as a distribution channel for video content continues to grow, the revenue growth in the industry is all in the DVD vending machines. 
  8. One step back, two steps forward for 3D TV.  Deloitte implies that the success of the 3D version of Avatar will not necessarily translate into 3D TV growth.  I don’t see myself buying a 3D TV anytime soon.  In the long run, perhaps for gaming, but not for regular TV shows.

For more on the media predictions from Deloitte, you can download the summary report and/or the detailed report.  For more on the Deloitte TMT predictions, you can check out the Deloitte TMT predictions website.  There’s also the TMT 12 minute podcast.

I’ve embedded the summary report found on Slideshare.

Deliotte: Media Predictions 2010

View more documents from jon bradford. Seven Media Predictions for 2010 from eMarketer’s CEO

emarketer-logo eMarketer is out with some predictions for 2010.  The article, written by Geoff Ramsey, CEO and Co-Founder of eMarketer, focuses on trends in advertising, media, and marketing. Here’s the seven predictions.

  1. During 2010, as US ad budgets crack open just a little, look for an accelerated migration of ad dollars from traditional to digital media.
  2. Even post-recession, aggregate media dollars will fail to return to former levels.
  3. Media consumption will continue to explode, becoming more distributed, personalized, and contextualized.
  4. Traditional advertising will  play a smaller role as paid content and hybrid models emerge.
  5. Advertising on social networks will never attract a large share of marketers’ ad dollars. Social marketing works best when it’s earned, not paid for.
  6. Marketers will be increasingly willing to trade off reach for deeper engagement.
  7. The classic interruption/disruption model of advertising will erode, if not fade away.

eMarketer, with its articles, charts and analysis, is a good source to validate media based trends   More information on each of these seven predictions can be found at Geoff Ramsey’s post at Seven Predictions for 2010 from eMarketer’s CEO

The Role of Social Networks in the Coverage of Michael Jackson’s death and Events in Iran

Two events over the past 10 days have been announced and developed on social networks before traditional media.  Just last Thursday, the announcement of Jackson death blocked Google research access for queries related to Michal Johnson.  TMZ which broke the story had several outages, and Twitter crashed, and Widipedia seemed to be in temporarily overload.  One of the reasons is that it was a daytime event when people were using their cell phones at work to download the news.  While the scale of the response may be unprecedented, the pattern was not:  News search, reaction, tributes. 

The other major event that was mostly tracked through Twitter was the events in Iran.  A recent article in the NY Times analyzes the advantages and limits of Twitter in this situation.  I am including below some excerpts of this really interesting article.  “Twitter did prove to be a crucial tool in the cat-and-mouse game between the opposition and the government over enlisting world opinion. As the Iranian government restricted journalists’ access to events, the protesters have used Twitter’s agile communication system to direct the public and journalists alike to video, photographs and written material related to the protests.

1. Twitter Is a Tool and Thus Difficult to Censor:  Twitter aspires to be something different from social-networking sites like Facebook or MySpace: rather than being a vast self-contained world centered on one Web site, Twitter dreams of being a tool that people can use to communicate with each other from a multitude of locations, like e-mail. You do not have to visit the home site to send a message, or tweet. Tweets can originate from text-messaging on a cellphone or even blogging software. 

2. Tweets Are Generally Banal, but Watch Out: “Tweets by their nature seem trivial, with little that is original or menacing. Even Twitter accounts seen as promoting the protest movement in Iran are largely a series of links to photographs hosted on other sites or brief updates on strategy. Each update may not be important. Collectively, however, the tweets can create a personality or environment that reflects the emotions of the moment and helps drive opinion.

3. Buyer Beware:  Nothing on Twitter has been verified. While users can learn from experience to trust a certain Twitter account, it is still a matter of trust. And just as Twitter has helped get out first-hand reports from Tehran, it has also spread inaccurate information, perhaps even disinformation.

4. Watch Your Back: Not only is it hard to be sure that what appears on Twitter is accurate, but some Twitterers may even be trying to trick you. Like Rick’s Café, Twitter is thick with discussion of who is really an informant or agent provocateur. Government agents have created some accounts to mislead the public.

 5. Twitter Is Self-Correcting but a Misleading Gauge:  Twitter is a community, with leaders and cliques. Of course, Twitter is a certain kind of community — technology-loving, generally affluent and Western-tilting. In that way, Twitter is a very poor tool for judging popular sentiment in Iran and trying to assess who won the presidential election. “

6. Twitter Can Be a Potent Tool for Media Criticism:  Just as Twitter can rally protesters against governments, its broadcast ability can rally them quickly and efficiently against news outlets. One such spontaneous protest called out CNN last weekend for failing to have comprehensive coverage of the Iranian protests. This was quickly converted to an e-mail writing campaign. CNN was forced to defend its coverage in print and online.”



Smarter Planet: Billions of Sensors Tweeting

Innovation often occurs at the intersection of two points.  In this case, the intersection of Sensors and Twitter.

  • Fact:  There are billions of sensors today.  More and more of them are becoming embedded into our infrastructure, the products we use….and thus our daily lives.
  • Fact:  Twitter is here to stay.  More and more people are finding out that Twitter is more than just a consumer tool.  There are potential reasons to use it for productive purposes.

Consider the following early applications:

1) Letting you know the exact moment a Ferry has left or arrived at a dock.

2) Letting you know exactly where a Telescope is pointed now.

3) Letting you know the Temperature or humidity at a certain site:

4) Letting you know when your laundry is done

5) Letting you know when your plant needs watering

6) Letting you how much energy you are using

7) Knowing when a bridge is up or down

8) Keep track of high and low tide

9) Keep a log of your training runs  See this post

10) Letting people know your heart is beeping.  See this post

11) Keep track of your cats

In fact, Andy Stanford-Clarke, Master Inventor at IBM, uses his home to show how sensors can tweet.  (from a blog post titled BBC – Things that tweet)

Do we all understand where this is going?  Billion’s of sensors ‘tweeting’ to the ‘Computing Cloud’ (hopefully not something like (Skynet)where software agents monitor, analyze, and act upon these tweets based on pre-determined preferences.  The tweets are saved in a history file for us to review at anytime, so we always know what happened when. 

Just spend a few minutes and imagine how a city-wide sensor network could make that city smarter.  It becomes very similar to our own central nervous system, right?

Accenture: Future of the Communications Industry

I saw that Accenture recently released a report titled “Communications Industry Trajectory:  On Track for High Performance?”.  The report discusses the blurred boundaries of the telecommunications industry as technology, business and consumer trends redefine the digital services marketplace.  

There is no doubt that convergence is now an accurate description of the current business model of the communications services industry.   Carriers, software companies, high-tech firms, media enterprises, entertainment conglomerates all may find themselves collaborating and partnering one day and competing against each other the next.

Accenture reports that industry executives they talked to for this research report indicate that the future of the communications industry has many opportunities and possibilities.  Future competition will be fierce and most companies will look quite different 10 years from now.   Accenture expects a number of significant mergers, acquisitions and alliances are on the horizon that will change the terms of the playing field in dramatic ways.

Some of the themes that emerged from the research Accenture conducted for the report.

  • Carriers are confident, but their vision may be insufficiently transformative
  • Seamless delivery of content across multiple platforms will be crucial
  • Other players are looking to leverage the distinctive strengths of service providers
  • Carriers must learn to use their brand in the right way
  • Support for open innovation and collaboration is critical to achieving high performance

According to the report there are potential weaknesses in the carriers' current approach: 

  • lack of a powerful vision for managing the customer experience,
  • some softness in overall brand value, and
  • an inadequate support structure for planning and managing the collaborative and partnering relationships necessary to spur innovation and improve time to market.

For more information, you can read the report or listen to an 8 minute Podcast

Netpop: Consumer Use of Social Networks Exploding

Are you finding you are spending more time after work hours on the Internet instead of seeking other forms of entertainment?   More time on the Internet instead of watching TV or renting a DVD? 

In my household, we are all spending more time online and less time watching TV shows and DVDs.  Less time playing board games and more time playing online games.  My two teenage daughters are texting, ‘Facebooking’ (is facebooking a verb?), and visiting all other sorts of social sites.  I have dramtically increased my time with Linked In, Facebook ,and Twitter more the last 6 months.  My wife has not made the transition to social media yet, but I do see her on her laptop using email to communicate, instead of watching her favorite TV shows.  As our family spends more and more time on the computer, I am thinking more and more about stripping the digital TV cable services down to bare minimum.  We can always access TV shows from sites like NBC direct, Hulu, and YouTube.

Curious, I did some research to find if there were any research studies on this. 

Netpop Research recently released a study, "Netpop | Connect: Media Shifts to Social", that shows that the amount of time U.S. broadband users spend online has risen significantly in the last couple of years.   Netpop's study found that time spent social networking has grown 93% since 2006.  This rise means that around a third (32%) of U.S. Internet users' online time is spent communicating. 

So what are consumers spending less time doing if they're tied up in virtual conversation?  According to the study, communication has increased at the cost of time spent on traditional forms of online entertainment, which has fallen 29% over the last two years to just 19% of total online time.  

In an another report “Connect:  Social Networkers 2008” from Netpop published in late 2008, findings indicated that 76% of all U.S. broadband users actively contribute to social media sites in one form or another, and 29% contribute regularly to social

It seems the definition of entertainment online is changing from an "entertain me" standpoint to include hanging out with friends online and sharing opinions and information – socializing.    You could surmise that the boundaries between entertainment and communication are blurring.

This is a disruptive force to those companies that relied totally on traditional broadcast advertising.  Companies must now rethink how they reach consumers.   They must commit more of their online "space" to user-generated content and social media that enables direct communication with consumers.   If companies don't provide these spaces, they will find it harder to track and engage consumers because, suggests Netpop, they will simply go off and create their own elsewhere.  

So companies must figure out how to engage with users on social media sites, give consumers/customers a voice, spend time learning how to listen and learn on these sites, and figure out how to enable their 'fans' to influence others.  With over 40 million Americans now contributing to social networking sites in one form or another, this is clearly a lucrative market for advertisers, but also one that is very different from more traditional online and offline media sources. 

The other question in all of this is how is this transition of family time to social sites impacting the family structure?  How will the families of the future bond if they are all off on their computers socializing with others, instead socializing with family members (playing board games, watching TV shows, etc.).  The burden will be on parents to force family time into everyone’s schedule….and it will be a tough task at that!!

For more information…

Marketing Through Social Media

I have the opportunity to take a few marketing classes and while looking at different programs, I realized that digital marketing has become very trendy.  Before enrolling , I decided to get some tidbits on this new trend with the help of a few analysts who published their 2009 social media predictions.

 Growth: Social media will continue pushing beyond the current buzz to more operational functions  like customer services and HR.   Empathy is playing an increasing role in  social media initiatives supported by live employees or reps who respond to tweets or other messages – empowering employees and agencies to have direct contact with customers.  In difficult times, customer satisfaction, product guarantee and purchasing experience have become key. 

New strategies:   As companies realize the benefits of humanizing their relationships with online communities, they are grappling with the how.    Marketers need to figure out how to integrate social media programs into broader marketing efforts.  Responsiveness, transparency and humanity of social media are of no less value to B2Bmarketing.  Companies are starting to see clients ask for private social networks that they can deploy among business partners. 

New processes:  Social media will result in role changes.  Everyone becomes a marketer as companies debate who should win community efforts with the organization front line workers quietly interacting.  Ad agencies could be desintermediated by media companies.  For example, brand marketers are bypassing their agencies and working directly with media companies to create out of the box marketing programs. 

Revenue opportunities:  Ecommerce widgets and applications now appear in social networks.   Shopping is becoming more social, and after poor recent retail sales, retailers are seeking a way to improve results with deeper discounts and are now inserting people and social connections into the  buying process. 

Social Media Marketing Survey Findings

A research study surveying 900 marketers attending the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009 shows that marketers are heavily invested in social media, to the tune of 88 percent using at least one social outlet.

What is a little surprising is that when asked to rate their experience level using social media marketing for their businesses, 72% of marketers say they have either just started or have been using social media for only a few months.

According to the survey, respondents report that the #1 benefit of social media marketing is gaining attention for the business.  The majority of marketers say they have undertaken social media activities for this reason and they appear to be paying off:  Some 81% of all marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses.  Improving traffic and growing lists was the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships.


(Graphic from "How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow their Businesses" )

The study also found more than half of participants reported that a major benefit of social media marketing is the resultant rise in search engine rankings that often comes with increased efforts.  Improved search engine rankings were most prevalent among those who've been using social media for years, with nearly 80% reporting a rise.

According to the study, the top social sites in use by marketers are Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and Facebook, in that order.  This suggests that long-standing rumors are true, that Twitter is flooded with marketers marketing to other marketers.  While there are plenty of "normal" users out there, this is something to keep in mind when developing a Twitter strategy.

When marketers were asked which social media tools they most want to learn more about, social bookmarking sites slightly edged out Twitter as the #1 response. A four-way tie for third place occurred between LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Facebook and Digg/Reddit/Mixx.

For more information, check out the study, "How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow their Businesses"

eWeek: 7 Things Needed for an Enterprise Social Network

Consumers have adopted social networking as a way to stay connected with friends and share ideas, music, pictures, and videos.  The trend is now hot in the enterprise market.  eWeek recently had an article that discussed seven critical elements to effective enterprise social networks.  Here is my summary of that article.

  1. User Friendly Look.  One of the reasons Facebook has been popular is it has a simple clean look, much like what Google has (although the recent revamp of Facebook looks a little more cluttered!!!).  eWeek says Lotus Connections and Socialtext are two vendors employing this user friendly look and feel.
  2. Business-Specific Applications.  Enterprises users don't only want to communicate, but they seek to collaborate (via tools like blogs and wikis) in order to solve business problems. 
  3. Multiple Communication Systems.   Enterprise users want a variety of ways to communicate and share information, including messaging, bookmarks, chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs, micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter).
  4. Security.  Enterprise users require and expect a level of security above consumer sites. 
  5. Scalability.  Everything points to a huge growth in users of enterprise social networks and that will translate into a huge growth in the number of transactions those networks will need to handle.
  6. Interact with Legacy Software.   Enterprise social networks will need to integrate with existing software within the business.
  7. Video and Multimedia.  Future enterprise users will come to expect the ability to share and view all types of media, including videos, podcasts, and photos.

This list covers some, but not all the elements needed for effective social network.  It focuses mainly on the social platform and misses the importance of the people and processes behind the social networks.  Without passionate people and community processes, a social network will limp along.  I don’t care how cool the social network technology platform is.

For the full article, see eWeeks "7 Things Needed For An Enterprise Social Network"