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Rewind '06, Fast Forward '07 – Ken Schafer

In our final contribution for our pre-holiday rewind of 2006 and fast forward to 2007, One Degree’s creator Ken Schafer shares his thoughts on the year past, and the year to come..

1. Rewind – What trends in Internet marketing surprised you in 2006? The incredibly rapid growth of video really caught me off guard. I’ve always been a believer in Internet Video but never saw the tipping point that was YouTube coming.

2. Rewind – Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? Not really. I’d say that I moved from thinking of “Social Media” as an interesting concept to being core part of the online marketing toolkit, but I’m not sure I’ve done that much to really integrate it into the work I’m doing. The closest I’ve come is the Tucows Squishies on Flickr that I wrote about earlier and the Tucows Blog but I’m not sure I can claim those to be truly social.

3. Fast Forward – What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? At this point I’d say that Email, Paid Search, Organic Search, and Display Advertising are “Traditional Internet Marketing”, while Blogs, Feeds, and Video are the trends to leverage – if you’re not getting serious about these in 2007 you’re missing the boat. Trendsetters wanting to get ahead of the the curve or with early adopters as their target markets will be exploring Social Media and Branded Entertainment in 2007.

4. Fast Forward – At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? My guess is that most marketers can safely ignore mobile marketing, virtual worlds, and any location-aware marketing for another year without any career damage at all.

5. Fast Forward – Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? I think we’ll see a new type of agency establish itself this year – “Branded Entertainment Agencies”. More companies are understanding that entertaining advertising can be more powerful than advertising around what entertains. Traditionally we’ve left it to the marketers to sponsor (through ad dollars) the entertainment “producers” create. Virals, video, flash-apps, innovative micro-sites – all of these require a level of story-telling and creativity that goes beyond what we expect of typical ad agencies. Some smart agencies will realize that self-identifying as “a leading branded interactive entertainment agency” will get them the mindshare and differentiation they crave.