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Rewind ‘06, Fast Forward ‘07 – Jennifer Evans

Our rewind of 2006 and fast forward to 2007, is still going. Jennifer Evans shares her thoughts on the year past, and the year that has come.

1. Rewind – What trends in Internet marketing surprised you in 2006? The amount of surprise among marketers around the explosion of user-generated content – and that so many marketers tried to exploit the trend so poorly! We saw a couple of examples of sophisticated marketers tying their on and offline campaigns in together, but the possibilities around throwing the doors open to the masses seemed to result in a lot of misfires (GM and Wal-Mart/Edelman) and a blurring of ethical lines around how to engage consumers authentically – if there is one thing we marketers should have learned this year, it’s that authenticity has to be in every layer of your campaign or the blogosphere is going to take you to task!

2. Rewind – Did you add any new tools to your online marketing toolkit in 2006? 2006 was more a year of refinement for us around utilizing blogging, podcasting, RSS and social media in campaigns. We did some MySpace and Second Life exploration with clients like HarperCollins that we are interested to see the outcomes on those.

3. Fast Forward – What do you see as the biggest trends in Internet Marketing in 2007? First of all, I think 2007 will be the tipping point year for media convergence. I am beta-testing the venice project right now (watch for a post tomorrow!) and whether it’s video on portable devices, TV on your PC, or the sounding of the death knell for standalone TV, media consumption habits and how advertising is conducted in different media is going to undergo a major shift this year. It’s the year of TV and movies and other content being available when you want in the media you want. And how that is going to change advertising will be very interesting to watch.

2007 for Sequentia is all about community – and we see that translating into the larger marketplace as well. 2006 was the year the internet really ‘came back’ and marketers became serious again about attracting an audience and building relationships online – but the question of what you do with those folks once you have them in a community will largely be answered in 2007. Companies that are really invested in customer relationships will make great strides in investing and maintaining those communities and continually engaging their audiences.

4. Fast Forward – At the end of 2007, what do you expect we’ll be looking back at as overhyped? I am very interested to see whether or not a mass consumer audience will buy movies to watch on their PCs – and if we will see the slow decline of the Netflix and Blockbuster as a result – or how they will adjust. My feeling is that certain types of video content are better suited to a PC than others and that mass movie downloading really won’t become popular until bandwidth catches up – if ever. (And especially as long as we can’t get iTunes video in Canada!)

5. Fast Forward – Any SPECIFIC predictions for 2007? Buy-outs, bubbles bursting, records broken, reputations toppled, break-out companies? I predict that Apple will release an iPhone 😉 One for one!