It almost goes without saying that 2008 was a tough year all around and is ending with many pundits making dire forecasts both for Internet companies in general and for the business of online advertising.
In this light, I would like to give "the gift of hope" to my fellow online marketing devotees and present my three favourite resources from 2008 which point towards significant growth for our industry.
First, if you haven't seen the Morgan Stanley presentation from the Web 2.0 Conference on Internet Trends, I would suggest it is a must read. There is ample doom and gloom at the front on our uncertain economic times but the back of the report is the most illuminating. It statistically calls out where the relative growth in advertising will continue to be in 2009 and no surprise – it is overwhelmingly in digital and mobile.
Second, if you missed the Living and Learning with New Media report from USC and Berkeley on the underlying dynamics of our emerging Digital Youth, I also suggest it as a must read. It is impossible to read this report on how the next generation is centering their lives in digital mediums and not immediately understand the need to keep our focus as marketers in this same space.
Finally, I strongly recommend getting a copy of O'Reilly's report on the emergence of Twitter and Micro-Blogging and the importance of this rapidly expanding communications platform. There is a free overview and Podcast and you have to pay for the full report. It is worth it though. If you and your company are not on Twitter yet, you need to read this document and get moving. Incidentally, you can find me on Twitter at mgarrity and my company at communitylend.
Michael tweets as @mgarrity. His most popular post this year was Make No Mistake, Marketers – This Next Generation is Hungry, Fast and Way More Knowledgeable. All the elves were twittering about it.