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Rewind '06, Fast Forward '07 – Salima Valji

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. Salima Valji shares 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? I was amazed at the incredible growth and popularity of the Web 2.0 concept – it’s EVERYWHERE! Furthermore, the speed at which blogging and podcasting grew in popularity both by customers and marketers! We are definitely in the Digital Marketing revolution which will continue to move at digital speed!

2. Rewind – Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? For us at Microsoft, this was the year for upgrading our Analytics! Atlas and WebTrends are now a key part of our marketing toolkit which replaced our old systems. Podcasting was a new media we leveraged which provided good engagement – we will definitely be investing in this for 2007.

3. Fast Forward – What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? With the release of Windows Vista, IE 7, Outlook 2007 and Windows Live – RSS use will become more prevalent as these tools allow for easy RSS consumption. So consumer use of RSS will definitely increase – but by no means will this medium replace email, but RSS can be a great tool for subscriber acquisition, product updates, promotions, events, etc. particularly with your loyal customers.

I also see greater use of Video downloads – but not for commercial advertising. YouTube and iTunes has proved that people consume and download videos – why not use videos for product information or product how to’s?

4. Fast Forward – At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? RSS is a great tool – but as I mentioned in point #3, RSS will not take over email. What about marketing that I think is underhyped? Mobile marketing – When are we going to start leveraging this communication vehicle? I know that the infrastructure is not yet available in North America to take advantage of this, but yet countries such as China, Korea, and Japan are moving quickly in this space.

5. Fast Forward – Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? Hmmmm….what companies will Microsoft pick up? GOOGLE!!!!!