Attempting to predict future online advertising trends has always been a perilous business. One minute, rich media formats are the apple of every media buyer’s eye. Next thing you know, blogs have materialized from nowhere to take top billing. At Ad:Tech New York this week, international interactive marketing and technology company “24/7 Real Media took a stab at forecasting”:http://www.247realmedia.com/about/press_2005/2005-11-08.html what would be big in 2006. If the company is right, we could be in for an exhilarating year.
Topping the list is “consumer-generated media”:http://www.clickz.com/experts/brand/cmo/article.php/3515576, a medium that’s synonymous with the terms “brand democratization” and “citizen marketing.” While it wasn’t born in 2005, it certainly came into its own this year. It got its own acronym (CGM, of course). It’s even being “cited by the mainstream press”:http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB111948406207267049-qs710svEyTDy6Sj732kvSsSdl_A_20060623.html?mod=blogs _(sub req’d)_, which is usually embarrassingly slow to pick up on new interactive trends.
Best of all, consumer-generated media could represent a potential solution to 24/7’s third trend: A collaboration among advertisers, cable providers, and interactive marketers where addressing “The TiVo (or “DVR”:http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/DVR.html) Effect” is concerned. Consumers’ ability to skip commercials will likely prompt advertisers to look to interactive marketing expertise and online alternatives to traditional television advertising.
One can’t overlook the second trend, however, as it’s one that we’ve been striving toward for the better part of a decade. According to 24/7 Real Media, advertisers will continue to shift ad spending to the Web. We’ll owe this shift to increased Internet consumption and better targeting and measurement capabilities, but I like to think the increase in innovative marketing opportunities like consumer-generated media is also accountable.
Ready or not, a new year is about to be upon us. And I’m predicting it will be a great one for our industry.