We are coming to the end of 2007 and dawn of another new year. It's time for predictions again, I presume! Chief Marketer has some predictions:
- There will be an ongoing emphasis on "engagement" measures. This is getting harder and harder to measure using models that had already lost their efficacy in 1985, and when you combine that with the power of today's "bionic" consumers, born hot-wired into the Internet with an iPod in one hand and a TiVo controller in the other, engaging them will be the only way of guaranteeing loyalty and profitability.
- More "brands" will become "Category Placeholders." As brands become more and more enamored with and enmeshed in "new" media like social networking and messages beamed into consumers' living rooms from outer space, marketers need to ensure that their brands actually stand for something in the mind of the consumer.
- Companies will have to move from saying they're "Green" to actually being "Emerald City Green." Playing in the environmental arena won't be an option in 2008 and brands and holding companies will have to find ways of positioning their offerings in ways that meaningfully support a sustainable future.
- Media planning will become more touch point focused and personalized.
Planners will still classify touch points as "above-the-line," "below-the-line," and "new," but planning will be based on three critical considerations: a) which touch point best reinforces brand values, b) where the brand + media equation yields real engagement, and c) where the plan is seamless, believable, personalized, and authentic.
- Behavior will (finally) trump attitude.More marketers will come to realize that "to know you is not necessarily to buy you" (or, for that matter, even like you). Loyalty and engagement metrics - particularly those configured to provide brand-to-media engagement measures-will be used to identify behavioral "hot buttons" that marketers can add to their toolboxes and their search efforts.
- Consumer expectations will once more grow.Brands are only barely keeping up now. Expectations remained stable for a short time, but only while consumers were catching their breadths and adopting -then devouring - the newest of the new technologies and innovations.
- Personal health management will impact brand engagement and loyalty.U.S. obesity is at an all-time high, with Americans among the fattest people on earth. This increase is primarily the result of consuming more calories, that behavior the direct result of technological innovations making it possible for food to be mass/fast prepared far from the point of consumption, and coconsumed with lower costs of preparation (even if you factor in marketing costs).
- Innovation and loyalty will matter more. What is clear is that the ever-expanding universe of brands will require an informed action plan - one that makes sense to the people on the brand and marketing side of the equation, but one that also accurately identifies and capitalizes upon what people on the consumer side really feel, really want, and really believe. nsumed with lower costs of preparation (even if you factor in marketing costs).