Prediction 1: Robert Scoble will become marginalized as a new “Twitterer to follow” emerges that is less condescending and opinionated.
The Marketing Consigliere actually likes Scoble, has met him twice, but understands that like all “celebrities,” a new one will probably come along that the huddled marketing masses will want to anoint as their new savior. He will never be relegated as the “Lindsay Lohan” of the social network scene, but rather more as a William Shatner-like figure.
Ok, that got the blogosphere’s attention. Now for the Marketing Consigliere’s real predictions:
Prediction 2: More brands will use Twitter and some people will tolerate push communication.
Just as the original commercial Internet “pioneers” were eclipsed by corporate suits in regard to the continued development and exploitation of the Internet, brands will become a more dominant player in this tool. While the Innovators and Early Adopters who embraced Twitter may feel their “find” has been violated, this is just another stage in the product life cycle as the Early Majority and Late Majority get on board. Many of these later adopters will be complacent with one-way messaging, just as they have been while using other media.
Prediction 3: More B2B companies will embrace microblogging for their direct customers.
Like in Prediction 2, see more corporate activity in social networking, specifically in communicating by B2B in addtion to B2C. As B2B buyers become less reluctant to use “consumer” apps in their daily work routine, they will accept this relatively new form of blogging as the primary means of communication with their vendors.
Prediction 4: More local and state legislatures will pass “anti-sms and cell phone use while driving” bills.
The Marketing Consigliere has personally been at risk due to the muttonheads out there who refuse to use headsets or keep both hands on the wheel of their 2 ton gas-guzzling SUVs. He sincerely hopes that this safety issue will be recognized by government leaders. Currently only a handful of states have enacted laws. We can still communicate on the go without endangering the life and property of others, but it will take the law to influence this foolish behavior.
Prediction 5: Broadband companies will increase competition by offering more local marketing services for small businesses.
As print newspapers and yellow pages hemorrage money, broadband companies will recognize that to keep SMBs hooked up to their copper, cable or fiber, they will have to provide assistance to drive traffic to the customer. Just like a shopping mall markets itself to drive traffic to its doors and helps its tenants, telecommunications service providers will have to assist its “tenants” by driving visitors to the small and medium size businesses that use their connectivity or hosting services. This especially will affect the local search (SEO/SEM) and campaign management of SMBs.
Prediction 6: Businesses will continue to gravitate towards opensource CMS.
With more stakeholders involved in collaborative use of internal and external enterprise content, there will have to be easier ways to administer and control the use of the content. Companies will be looking at solutions such as Acquia supported Drupal that allow them to quickly get up sites for relevant users.
Prediction 7: The Federal Government will take more of a leadership role in developing web based technologies.
Yes, the Feds have always been behind some of the greatest technologies enjoyed by the private sector. Look forward to seeing more emphasis by the Obama Administration on the development of applications that bring more efficiency to the organization, including the tech transfer of C4ISR tools from the military/intelligence sphere into the commercial sphere.
Prediction 8: There will be a major IT security breach of a Fortune 500 company and/or a significant cyber attack on a major social network.
The Marketing Consigliere risks being a Cassandra and makes the above prediction. We are accustomed to hearing about laptops gone missing, customer lists being compromised and other events that make the news. However, there are negative, malicious forces which will eventually find a vulnerability in a significant corporate place or social network that takes us all by surprise – remember, corporate resources are thin and that includes in the IT department, so redundancy will count. So will the ability of net-centric marketers, especially public relations professionals, to communicate the truth to mitigate distrust and damage to their brand.
Prediction 9: Net-Centric Innovation will increase despite the macroeconomic situation.
Most VCs and investment bankers aren’t any smarter than the rest of us. For the most part they have to manage their risk the way they can to minimize the wrath of their investors. So while many people decry the lack of investment out there, entrepreneurship will play a tremendous role in keeping innovation going. A confident entrepreneur who can exhibit the leadership to get people to help execute his or her visoin will make a huge difference. Luckily, across the globe, there will be a critical number of these hearty individuals to help keep enthusiasm at a high level.
Prediction 10: Despite controversy, marketers will try more forms of analytics – behavioral, video, voice, text, etc.
As more people depend on mobile computing for their daily lives, it will behoove marketers to test tools that help them better gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon data to drive revenue. Despite the cry from civil libertarians, the Marketing Consigliere is certain that the data derived from a person’s online actions, their physical behavior in a retail surveillance environment, what they type, event their tone and speed of speech, can and will be used in positive ways that can benefit them by marketers. It will take a lot of time and investment to execute this effectively, however.
Thank you for being part of the Marketing Consigliere’s far-flung audience; he plans to continue blogging about network-centric marketing and will endeavor to post relevant, thought-provoking content for marketing professionals and business executives. May you and your organization have successful, net-centric marketing in 2009!