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Rewind '06, Fast Forward '07 – Tara Hunt

We’ve got about two weeks here at the One Degree offices (virtual as they may be) before we break for the holidays. To wrap up the year in fine style I’ve asked some of the One Degree Contributors to provide us with a rewind of 2006 and a fast forward to 2007 to give you something substantial to chew on as the days get shorter. First up is Tara Hunt with her thoughts on the highs and lows of this year and what we can expect next year…

1. Rewind – What trends in Internet marketing surprised you in 2006? The lack of “marketing” and the return to relationship building with customers…even in large scale operations.

2. Rewind – Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? Offline events like BarCamp.

3. Fast Forward – What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? I hope these aren’t trends…but I do believe we will continue further down the path of relationship building and community fostering, rather than the formerly celebrated mass sprays and ads ‘targeting’ people in the thousands. I really hope that 2007 sees the exciting trek down the route of creating more responsible marketing professionals, making us all accountable for the messages we put online. I believe we will move away from ‘mass’ and towards the recognition of thriving niche markets.

4. Fast Forward – At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? Anything that has anything to do with MySpace and now YouTube.

5. Fast Forward – Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? We see more and more companies moving towards serving the edge of the marketplace, but some hopefuls to watch for are: Twitter, Meebo and a comeback for Adobe, whose Apollo project is promising. See an upsurgence in Flash apps as browsers become better at handling them. As well, widgets are a growing market and everyone seems to be getting into them. It’s the best way to distribute content wide today.

Bubbles won’t burst because we aren’t in one. Some of the silliness that is happening here and there will fizzle out (is already, really). I think Obvious Corp put a stake in the ground with their move to “take back” their properties from the VCs.

The biggest news will be that the ‘big news’ will overshadow all of the amazing smaller, niche, important, heart & soul companies that are already making a living around the world doing what they love and serving their communities…but I guess that isn’t new, is it? Maybe the news will be that people will start looking closer for these stories. I don’t know.

I see many of the ‘new guard’ big bloggers and companies losing their grip of the marketplace as people find more great resources. Currently people flock to the TechCrunch and Scobleizer’s, but even their referal rates are weakening as blogs serving niche audiences are growing. We’re looking at a wider city with less skyscrapers…more suburbs and urban neighbourhoods.

Google will continue to do its thing best (making tight products for no-fluff types), Yahoo! will figure out who they are, Microsoft will continue to make mistakes, but serve the enterprise well and Apple will continue to put out pretty things that make us ooooh and aaaah, but will hit a ceiling in frenzied Maclove, and have to answer for their DRM failings. And for us? We will hopefully spend more time in Canada next year…;)