You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Tendances Marketing 2010’ category.

1/ Bataille autour des infrastructures et protocoles

Après avoir lancé (et fermé) des dizaines de services, les grands de ce monde semblent maintenant bien décidés à étendre plus encore leur présence en s’attaquant aux infrastructures (investissements massifs dans des data-centers) et également aux protocoles. C’est ainsi que Google a cette année proposé un nouveau protocole pour Wave, mais aussi une variante de HTTP (SPDY) et même son propre DNS (Google Public DNS). Ils ont également racheté Gizmo5 (spécialisé dans la VoIP). Et vous pensez que Microsoft, IBM, Amazon et cie vont rester sans rien faire ? Attendez-vous donc à une série d’acquisitions / innovations dans les infrastructures et les protocoles.

2/ Retour en force de la TV

Vous connaissez la télévision ? Mais si enfin, ce gros truc qui traine (ou pas) dans un coin de votre salon. Et bien figurez-vous que ce boitier risque bien de redevenir cool grâce au web et à l’ensemble de services qu’il est possible de porter dessus (cf. La télévision est-elle l’avenir de l’internet ? En partie). Mieux, de nouveaux modèles sont à inventer pour pouvoir tirer partie des spécificités de ces deux supports (votre ordinateur avec son clavier, sa souris… et votre télévision avec son bel écran HD).

Internet dans votre TVInternet dans votre TV

C’est ainsi que l’on va commencer à voir des choses très intéressantes du côté des grandes chaines (MyTF1), des fournisseurs d’accès (Orange Box V.2, Freebox V.6…) et même des services en ligne (avec des contenus 3D). Bref, si la France n’a pas eu la chance d’avoir sa TiVo, les téléspectateurs / internautes risques d’être gâtés en 2010 avec de nouveaux services hybrides très intéressants (web + TV).

3/ Explosion du marché des livres électroniques

Inutile de vous (re)faire l’article sur le Kindle ou sur ces concurrents. Maintenant que la technologie d’encre électronique est au point, reste à trouver les contenus. Car force est de constater qu’il n’y a pas beaucoup de eBooks à télécharger pour le moment (du moins en France), à moins que les choses se débloquent avec l’arrivée de ebooks sponsorisés (donc gratuits), de ebooks open source (voir d’un e-reader en open hardware), de e-readers subventionnés par des marques (au hasard les VPCistes qui en échange y placeraient leur catalogue avec un mécanisme de commande / paiement intégré) ou encore de e-readers compatibles avec Google Books, et tant qu’on y est des marketplaces d’ebooks et mêmes d’applications pour e-readers. Tout reste à faire…

Nook, le grand concurrent du KindleNook, le grand concurrent du Kindle

4/ Grosse bataille autour de l’authentification et de la certification d’identité

Ces derniers temps, l’actualité est très chaude en ce qui concerne les services d’authentification : Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo! et même Mozilla sont en pleine course (cf. Quand la délégation d’authentification devient un enjeu-clé). Ceci ne concerne que l’authentification mais je sens que petit à petit le besoin de certification d’identité va devenir de plus en plus pressant pour les utilisateurs qui veulent s’investir davantage dans une ou plusieurs plateformes sociales (par passion ou pour des raisons pro). À partir de là, qui pourrait être le mieux placé pour fournir un service de certification d’identité ? Les acteurs historiques (Verisign, Certinomis) mais également les solutions de paiement (PayPal, FIA-NET, Google Checkout…). En fait tout est question de confiance : En qui avez-vous le plus confiance pour certifier votre identité ou l’identité de quelqu’un d’autre ? L’astuce sera de fournir un service fiable et facile à mettre en oeuvre (et accessoirement compatible avec les différentes plateformes sociales).

5/ Invasion des terminaux dédiés et objets connectés

J’ai déjà eu l’occasion de m’exprimer sur le danger que représentent les smartphones pour les terminaux nomades (cf. Les smartphones vont-ils tuer les terminaux portables dédiés), il n’empêche que quand je regarde des terminaux comme le Chumby, le Litl ou encore le Intel Ealth Guide, je me dis que la partie est loin d’être gagnée.

Le Health Guide d'IntelLe Health Guide d’Intel

En fait il existe une infinité d’usages de niche pour des objets du quotidien qui pourraient être connectés (cf. WakeMate, Withings, Twoddler…). Le seul problème avec ces terminaux, c’est le raccordement au web : le Wi-Fi est trop contraignant, les abonnements 3G coutent trop chers… Idéalement il faudrait une sorte de WhisperNet comme le propose Aamzon mais ouvert à tout type de terminaux. Là encore, tout reste à faire…

6/ Du multitouch à toutes les sauces

Faire des applications avec des interfaces tactiles multitouch n’est aujourd’hui plus un problème dans la mesure où les technologies sont prêtes. Ou du moins : de gros efforts ont été faits par les grands éditeurs (Microsoft, Adobe, Apple…) pour faciliter la mise en œuvre d’interfaces multitouch. Reste encore à trouver les périphériques. Vous connaissez déjà l’iPhone, nous avons également la table Surface, la souris Magic Mouse, les tablets de chez Wacom

Les nouvelles tablettes tactiles de chez WacomLes nouvelles tablettes tactiles de chez Wacom

En fait quand on y réfléchit bien, il y a encore beaucoup de progrès à faire dans ce domaine, notamment pour ré-équiper les foyers avec des périphériques hybrides comme le concept de 10/GUI. Bien évidemment ce type de périphérique n’est pas pour 2010 (quoique), mais nous allons doucement y venir et j’anticipe de belles innovations pour l’année à venir (périphériques / terminaux, applications, supports promotionnels / évènementiels…).

7/ Des applications en ligne sur votre bureau et des logiciels sur le web

La frontière était déjà très fine entre applications en ligne et logiciels connectés, mais les éditeurs vont pourtant aller encore plus loin avec des applications en ligne capables de se comporter comme des logiciels (grâce aux Application shortcuts de Google Chrome ou aux Client Apps de Silverlight 4 qui permettent de travailler en mode hors ligne et d’avoir accès au disque dur).

Facebook en dehors de votre navigateur avec SilverFace

Mais ça fonctionne aussi dans l’autre sens avec la montée en puissance des Social Desktop Apps qui sont là pour vous faciliter le quotidien et prendre la relève des Seesmic et Tweetdeck (FishBowl, Sobees, Socialite…). Ces services / applications sont là pour défricher le terrain à une nouvelle génération d’applications / services (ha mince je ne sais déjà plus qui est qui…). Bref, le rapprochement entre ces deux monde sera quasi-consommé l’année prochaine.

8/ Plus de sophistication pour les social games

Inutile de revenir sur le succès des social games. Après cette première année fort bien orchestrée pour faire se rencontrer deux mondes (casual games et réseaux sociaux), j’anticipe pour l’année prochaine une sophistication croissante des jeux proposés sur les réseaux sociaux avec des genres nouveaux : MMORPG (Burning Realms), FPS (Paradise Paintball 3D), Beat-them-All (BattlePunk), Tactical-sport RPG (Kick Off)…

BattlePunk, Un Beat-them-All sur FacebookBattlePunk, Un Beat-them-All sur Facebook

En fait il n’y a pas réellement de limite à la sophistication des jeux présents sur les réseaux sociaux, du moment qu’ils tournent sur un plug-in supporté par la plateforme (Flash, Unity3D…). Et avec un peu de chance, si le succès est au rendez-vous, les meilleurs jeux peuvent même exister en dehors de ces réseaux (à l’image de Farmville qui est maintenant dispo sur Farmville.com).

9 / Une seconde vie pour les jeux 16 bits

Je ne vous ferai pas l’affront de vous demander si vous connaissez des jeux comme Pac Man, Asteroids, Battlezone, Golden Axe, Dragon’s Lair… Et bien figurez-vous que ces jeux ne sont pas morts, bien au contraire, ils sont en train de connaitre une seconde jeunesse sur le web (Atari Arcade, Sega Mega Drive Classics) et sur iPhone (Dragon’s Lair, PacMan…). Vous pourriez me dire que le plaisir de jeu n’est pas tout à fait intact car c’est tout de même beaucoup moins fun de jouer sur son ordinateur avec son clavier. Mais pas de problème, car figurez-vous qu’ils ont pensé à tout avec notamment la fourniture d’un Joypad pour les abonnés pemium :

La manette USB dont j'ai toujours revéeLa manette USB dont j’ai toujours rêvée

Avec près de 20 ans de patrimoine vidéo-ludique, il y a largement de quoi attirer les nostalgique et leur soutirer quelques euros.

10/ Vers des Social Serious Games

Les serious games sont partout : sur Facebook, sur votre mobile, dans votre entreprise… Il faut dire que la proposition de valeur est plutôt intéressante : “Une simulation ludique dans laquelle le joueur / collaborateur va être invité à s’immerger pour résoudre une problématique complexe et / ou liée au monde de l’entreprise“. À partir de là, pourquoi ne pas importer dans l’entreprise les recettes qui fonctionnent chez le grand public : des social games sur votre réseau social interne adaptés aux challenges ou problématiques spécifiques à votre entreprise, des social serious games. L’idée vous parait stupide ? Réfléchissez-y à deux fois car ce type de jeux peut tout à fait remplir deux objectifs : faire passer un message (en fonction de la thématique du jeux et de la situation dans laquelle il place les collaborateurs) et stimuler les connections au réseau social interne (au travers de défis, d’un tableau des scores, de storytelling…).

Finding the elephants in the room

What’s a megatrend, you ask? It’s something big. I’m talking really big.

Think of a giant unstoppable tsunami of change transforming society as we know it. Think global warming scale — then apply it to mass human behavior. Think glaciers carving the grand canyon of consumer sentiment.

Compare and contrast. Here are some regular trends:

« Everyone is on Twitter these days. »
« Boomers are investing more in home renovations as they approach retirement. »
« Green is ‘in’ this season. »

All of these are important. None are mega.

Here’s a megatrend:

« Social media has permanently transformed the way people connect and share information. »

See? Big.

Much of the planning that goes into positioning a brand takes into account product attributes, competitive differentiation, and target insights. These are all critically important considerations. But they’re not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about what is so often left on the table — the elephant in the room. Megatrends. Latching onto these tectonic shifts can surge an entire brand strategy forward way ahead of the curve. Google caught on to an access-to-information megatrend. Facebook caught on to people connecting. Yet, these megatrends are rarely leveraged by brands. (This was confirmed for me by the sheer difficulty I had coming up with campaigns for this article).

Most companies wait until a megatrend is so pervasive and obvious that it becomes a minimum standard, a non-differentiating proposition — so that leveraging them does nothing to differentiate their brand. Case in point: Who doesn’t have a « green » message these days?

So what are the new megatrends that I believe will transform society in the coming years? What brands are taking advantage of them? And what can you learn from them?

Megatrend 1

Mass collaboration is powering the new economy

It’s no secret among iMedia readers that « user-generated content » was a sucker punch to the jaw of the marketing world over the past several years. A fundamental shift has occurred in which brands have become a conversation — and audiences have just as much of a say in the shape of that dialogue as marketing directors and agency copywriters.

But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In their book, « Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, » Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams describe a new economy where companies are taking advantage of a new collaborative world to foster innovation and grow their enterprises.

Of course, the UGC and social media titans are part of this mass collaboration. YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, and MySpace are all based on the participation of their communities. This new shift encompasses this trend, but extends far beyond how we entertain ourselves online.

Brands like Procter & Gamble, BMW, Lego, Boeing, and Netflix are all actively going outside their walls to find new ways to innovate and better ways to produce their goods and services. These companies are pioneers of the collaborative economy.

And now, Steve Jobs has taken note.

The brand that gets it: Apple
It almost seems cliché to mention Apple in any article about great advertising. But this article isn’t about what’s great — it’s about massive change reshaping the future. And Apple’s iPhone campaign is all about mass collaboration reshaping the future of Apple.

The campaign is in line with most Apple advertising. The product is the hero. The voice is friendly, clever, and straightforward. The ads simply state that whatever you want or need to do with your iPhone, « There’s an app for that. »

« There’s an app for that » refers to the tens of thousands of applications built on the iPhone API that are available for download in the iTunes store. The vast majority of those apps were not built by Apple.

If you’re familiar with the history of Apple, you know that relying on outside sources to fuel innovation just hasn’t been the way things were done — until now. You’d also know that Apple doesn’t always do things first. (The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player.) But when it sees an opportunity, it goes after it in a bigger and better way than anyone else ever has.

Apple has seen that opportunity in mass collaboration.

Last year Apple announced it would dump Macworld and instead focus on WWDC, its Worldwide Developer Conference. Why? Because developers create apps.

This is where the driving force will come from that will maintain Apple’s leadership in innovation in the years to come. This is a major strategic shift for Apple — and the absolute right one.

Megatrend 2

Constant connectivity in an on-demand world

I’m wired. Almost every minute of every day, it seems I am connected. Emailing, surfing, Twittering, streaming, gaming, texting, Facebooking, downloading, chatting — will it ever end?

No. It won’t. Constant connectivity is a megatrend.

More and more, we are relentlessly connected to one another. We weren’t when I was a kid. We weren’t five years ago. But you can bet we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Why? A new generation is growing up and entering the workforce in droves. The Millennial Generation is the largest this country has ever seen — bigger than the baby boomers — and it is the first generation that has grown up with technology and connectivity ubiquitous in their lives. To them, it’s all they’ve ever known.

I am incessantly networked, but I think something’s wrong with me. This massive new wave of population has no such hang-ups.

What these people do have are expectations borne of their condition. They live in an on-demand world. They know no other. Want a song? Download it. Want to know something? Google it. Want to tell Susie what Bobby said? Text it. Now, now, now.

The brand that gets it: Sprint
Sprint has zeroed in on this expectation with pinpoint accuracy. It used to be the phone company. But it’s no longer selling just phones. It is selling the concept of « now. »

The « Now Network » campaign was created for a new product called a mobile broadband card. But it hardly matters. Sprint isn’t trying to dominate the mobile broadband card market. It is trying to dominate the space in the consumer’s mind where the word « now » lives.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners — the agency I affectionately call the « other great creative agency on the California cable car line » — initiated the campaign online with a microsite at now.sprint.com that featured a mesmerizing array of tiny widgets showing different things that live in the now: top words being used online, current world population, a tiny game of Pong.

This digital experience has been elevated to a brand campaign with TV spots inspired by the online execution. The ever-present « Now Network » message is a consistent presence, diligently working to build a bridge between a constantly connected consumer and the brand that wants to deliver that connection.

Megatrend 3

Globalization: Making the world a smaller place

Last month, I attended the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) SME Summit in Hangzhou, China. Former President Bill Clinton addressed the crowd. He told us that the world’s greatest hope for financial stability and sustained economic growth is a massive shift in wealth from a handful of precariously balanced and self-interested financial institutions to a multitude of small and medium businesses across the globe doing business with one another — and technology is the accelerant bringing this change to life.

Bill’s words. Not mine.

Globalization is an unstoppable force reshaping our society. The world’s economies are inextricably linked. Technology has made geography irrelevant. Businesses around the world are doing business with one another and will continue to do so. This is big. This is mega big.

Many Americans have been slow to realize this. The web has given us all access to a whole new world of markets and partners that we can and should do business with. Technology can make every business a global business.

The recession has left millions of Americans out of work, many wondering what their next move should be. Today, they can start their own global business from the comfort of their living room.

The brand that gets it: Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com is the technology platform that is accelerating globalization. (Full disclosure: Alibaba.com is a client of my agency.) It’s a website that helps small and medium-sized businesses around the world find suppliers or manufacturers for virtually any product or service they might need. Alibaba.com makes it possible for virtually anyone with a laptop and an idea to find a supplier half a world away to help them build a business. The site has 42 million members, and the company has grown from 18 employees to 10,000 in a decade.

When I was first introduced to Alibaba.com, I went on its website to check it out. I clicked on an interesting-looking button that said, « Submit a buying lead. » Three minutes later, I had filled out a form seeking a supplier to produce 2,000 cashmere sweaters (I have expensive taste).

What happened next was amazing. Within 36 hours, I had 27 people from real companies around the world — China, India, Egypt, Italy, Vietnam, and Bangladesh — sending me emails offering to produce my sweaters, to send me samples, to be my partner. If I didn’t love this agency gig so much, I’d be in the cashmere business right now.

Alibaba.com faced a tough challenge in the U.S. market this year. The brand was a relatively unknown quantity to most Americans, and the very notion of finding a trusted partner halfway across the world was foreign to a majority of small business owners in the U.S.

Alibaba.com introduced itself to the American with a marketing campaign that summed up everything you’re able to do on its site:

Find it. Make it. Sell it.

« It » could be just about anything.

The campaign features stories of entrepreneurs that found partners on Alibaba.com that helped them create successful businesses. An integrated brand narrative used TV, print, and online media to build awareness and drive customers to success.alibaba.com where they could watch « mockumentary » videos of the campaign characters telling their stories, delve into case studies of real-life Alibaba entrepreneurs, and learn how they can get started using Alibaba.com for their businesses.

Megatrend 4

Pervasive distrust in big corporations

Does our economic situation have you infuriated with corporate America? Do you feel like the jerks on Wall Street and the incompetents in Detroit almost destroyed this country’s financial system to line their own pockets? Do you trust big banks to have your best interests in mind?

If you answered « yes, yes, no, » to the above, you’re not alone.

The impending financial doom this country faced a year ago had a tremendous impact on consumer confidence in America, but even greater damage was done to consumer trust. News reports have created a mass perception of banks hoarding bailout money provided to loosen credit markets in order to boost profits and fund exorbitant executive compensation packages. Despite the hope and good faith many Americans have in our new president (myself included), our government appears incompetent at best, complicit at worst.

This has propelled pervasive distrust to megatrend levels.

The impact of this is not limited to financial institutions and automakers. According to Interbrand’s annual assessment of the top 100 global brands, the list’s total value fell by 4.6 percent in the past year. While brand valuation is a murky science, those are not good numbers.

Yet, in adversity lies opportunity. As distrust reaches near universal proportions, a brand story based on trust can be a powerful weapon.

The brand that gets it: Ally Bank
Tired of being screwed? Now, you’ve got an ally. Ally Bank.

« Who? » you ask.

You know how Prince became The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?

Meet your new Ally. The Bank Formerly Known as GMAC.

The duplicity of a giant U.S. bank combined with the ineptitude of a giant U.S. car company. I’d vomit if only this wasn’t such a well-crafted brand. Here’s the brand’s elevator pitch (verbatim from its website):

« We are Ally Bank, built on the foundation of GMAC Financial Services. And with that experience we’ve learned that these times demand change and a new way of doing business. So we’re taking banking in a new direction.

That means talking straight, doing right and being obviously better for our customers. »

The tag line for the campaign is simply, « Straightforward. »

TV spots show a little girl get shafted by a banker-type guy who didn’t tell her she could have had a real pony instead of a toy. « Even kids know it’s wrong to hold out on somebody. Why don’t banks? » the voiceover asks. Good question.

This straightforward, human tone seems to emanate from every pore of this brand. Copy on the website assures potential customers, « We won’t deal in half-truths, kindatruths, or truths only buried in fine print. »

Even the brand color, purple, screams, « We’re not like the other guys. »

It remains to be seen whether past associations can be overlooked, but my suspicion is that Ally Bank’s actions will speak louder than its words over the coming years. If it really embraces the values it espouses in the way it does business, people will talk about it, and Ally will become a powerful brand. If the brand doesn’t, people will talk about that too.

Megatrend 5

A global sense of urgency to fix the problems of a modern world

When I started this article, I swore I would not write about « going green » as one of the megatrends. It certainly is a big deal, but it’s one that has been thrust so far into the limelight that it’s no longer an opportunity to differentiate. Being green is a minimum standard.

What do I mean by minimum standard? Take the airlines. Whoever came up with the concept of frequent flier miles had a great differentiator for business travelers. It was so great, that soon everyone else in the industry followed suit and now having an incentive program for frequent fliers is a minimum standard in the industry. Every airline must have one to compete.

Virtually every brand in every category has a green story these days.

But being green is symptomatic of another megatrend that is influencing the world on a massive scale — a global sense of urgency.

It’s no secret to anyone that… well… we’re screwed. The planet is falling apart. We’ve got global warming, pollution, overcrowded cities, not enough energy, we’re running out of water, and running out of fish.

But the eco message is just the tip of the melting iceberg. Advances in technology have put fixes to so many challenges within reach. Conventional wisdom now begs to ask: Why wouldn’t we take advantage of solutions available to us? Why wouldn’t we digitize health care? Why wouldn’t we use smart toll systems to ease traffic jams? Why wouldn’t we implement technology to make our school systems more efficient?

Today, governments and enterprises around the world are rushing to play catch-up. They sense the urgency. To wise up. To get smart.

The brand that gets it: IBM
IBM has wrapped its big blue arms around the massive sense of urgency that is sweeping the globe with its campaign for « A Smarter Planet. »

The campaign overview page on IBM’s website sums it up:

« The technology is here.
The people are ready.
The time is now. »

This looks far beyond the important-but-limited scope of coming up with new ways to conserve energy or limit emissions — the subject of so many campaigns targeting the « think green » mindset. In addition to energy, water, and construction, IBM’s « Smarter Planet » campaign encompasses solutions for traffic, cities, banking, retail, education, telecom, and health care.

But the campaign is also about aspiration. About fixing things before it’s too late. It’s optimistic. It’s motivating. It’s the kind of message that Americans swarmed to when they elected Barack Obama.

And best of all, it’s tangible. Which makes it empowering.

« A less expensive energy bill. A package that gets delivered in two days instead of seven. Quarterly school reports available online. Bit by bit, our planet is getting smarter. By this, we mean the systems that run the way we live and work as a society. »

This is how IBM is describing its vision for a smarter planet. It’s talking about all the different ways to make a difference from a 10,000-foot view and then bringing it down to tangible solutions provided by IBM to make a smarter planet a reality.

Tactically, I think IBM is also doing a great job integrating this message across every advertising touchpoint and using social media to reinforce thought leadership. It’s using Tumblr as part of this effort, a powerful, yet simple tool that I personally think has the potential to be the next big thing in social media. Think of the consumable nature of Twitter, but the ability to post and tag anything — videos, pictures, and prose.

This is smart marketing. I anticipate that many readers of this article are deep into planning for 2010 right now. Before you close that PowerPoint presentation, I advise you to take a step back and ask yourself, « Am I missing something? Is there a bigger opportunity here? »

We live in a time of tumultuous change. That means there are huge opportunities out there, waiting for marketers with the foresight to find them and the courage to act on them. There just might be a megatrend out there waiting for you.

Brands

What brands will be hot in 2010 and why?

Adam Broitman: At the risk of sounding trite, the world has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. The way we live and the technology we use is bringing people closer to one another, and closer to the products and services we consume. Armed with more information than ever, consumers are becoming more discerning in their product choices and are less influenced by vacuous marketing efforts.

The phrase « want better marketing, create a better product » has never been more relevant. Innovative brands with utility at their core will, in my not-so-humble opinion, gain traction. I hope to see brands such as Zipcar and Fiat gain traction. Tech companies that help shape the way we consume media and understand the world around us, such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, will undoubtedly grow stronger. The last few are a bit more obvious; one less obvious prediction for a brand that will grow stronger will be Camper. You will have to email me for my reasons, as it would take too long on this forum.

Daniel Flamberg: CROCs will leverage the inherent qualities of the product and the huge affinity for the brand using social media to overcome bad business and financial choices.

Adam Kleinberg: Brands that realize it’s the experience that matters will sizzle in 2010. Branding is not just what you say. It’s just as much who you are and what you do. There are a handful of companies like Starbucks, Virgin America, Pandora, and Zappos that define themselves by the experience they provide at every point of contact with a customer. Those brands will win.

Jim Nichols: Microsoft will benefit from a whole mess of stories about how they have turned around and are delivering great, high-value products. After years of being attacked in the press for lackluster offerings and turtle-slow response times, they are going to get real credit in the business press for products like Bing and WIN 7.

Which brands will make the best use of new media and how?

Broitman: It is tough to predict who will have that « ah-ha moment » this year — a moment at which brand stewards realize they have not been properly handling new marketing channels such as mobile, social, and search. (I know search is not new, but the lack of search sophistication by many marketers never ceases to amaze me.)

The one thing that I can predict is that there will not be an overnight sensation in brand marketing, as brand stories need time to grow more credible (and you cannot buy quick credibility). Brands that have experimented in 2009 (e.g., Nike, Ford, and Pepsi) will certainly be best positioned for new media success in 2010.

Kleinberg: The common thread between new media channels is that consumers engage with brands on their own terms. The brands that break through will be the ones that create relevant value. For instance, Traction did a campaign to launch the Adobe Photoshop for the iPhone app that netted over a million downloads in a week. Why? Because it’s relevant to the consumer who wants to enhance their photos and relevant to the brand that wants to introduce those customers to Photoshop.com. Conversely, it’s the brands that try to treat everything like direct response that will fail.

Lori Schwartz: Typically it was the brands that were trying to reach the younger demographic that were playing the most with new media, but now we are seeing a wider generational use of new media, particular to life needs and services; now marketers can expand the use of new media to reach older audiences.

What will be the biggest shake-up on the brand side for 2010?

Flamberg: GM and Chrysler will fail again, squandering vast sums along the way. Obama will demand our money back from GM. Financial services marketers will be more heavily observed and regulated. Lending and credit card practices will attract class-actions suits and congressional scrutiny that will threaten their existence.

Nichols: Google will suffer significant search share losses for the first time ever. Almost double digits of share. And as a result, we’re going to see real innovations at a much faster pace from both Google and its competitors. It’s time that search changed « on internet time. »

Agencies and people

What agency (or type of agency) do you think will break out in 2010 and why?

Broitman: As larger digital agencies struggle with « The Innovator’s Dilemma, »  nimble specialty shops will gain traction. We have already begun to see this transition in action with Wrigley’s recent agency shake down. This may not be the case with media shops, but economies of scale do not have the same effect when it comes to creative shops. Brands will be looking to agencies for more innovative solutions and as many of us know, it is harder (not impossible) to be innovative in rigid corporate structures.

Flamberg: Several creative digital boutiques will arise to challenge the all-too-bland big agency creative online. It’s a fair bet they’ll come out of gaming and animation and grab a fair amount of attention.

Kleinberg: 2009 was a year of reckoning for many agencies. I’m getting lots of calls from clients saying « our last agency did a great job, but they don’t get interactive. » Traction increased billings by 125 percent last year because we generate ideas for brands and then think interactively about how consumers will experience them. It’s the agencies with digital DNA that can think strategically like traditional agencies that will thrive in 2010.

Nichols: I hesitate to be a broken record on this one, but we really are nearing the point where agencies are actually going to have to provide great ideas and/or great strategic thinking. Most don’t do either, focusing instead on making money through efficient execution. Agencies that have 80 percent-plus of client hours going to execution are going to find themselves really hurt this year by the proverbial « freelancers in a garage somewhere. » As well they should be.

What should agencies do more of this year that wasn’t done in 2009?

Flamberg: No. 1: Strategic thinking aimed at delivering business results for clients. No. 2: Measure the business value of social media and develop cases that suggest that social media can deliver improved business results, not just brand awareness and affinity.

Clark Kokich: Agencies need to help clients build brands that do something, not just stand for something. Agencies are very comfortable helping clients formulate effective messages. But clients want agencies to help them create customers and service them through compelling experiences. Clients want agencies to help them participate in the social world. To do those things, agencies need to change their mindset to empower brands by creating great experiences, not just messages.

Nichols: Agencies need to become a real resource for brands in the area of social media. Identifying platforms to help them analyze the socialsphere, providing a layer of insights reflective of their role as brand stewards and « the voice of the consumer, » and (here’s the painful bit) developing, shaping, and refining campaign ideas based upon consumer input and ideas.

What will be the biggest shake-up on the agency side for 2010?

Flamberg: More consolidation by clients. Fewer agencies serving big clients. Death of more small agencies. Marginalization of those without significant digital capabilities.

Nichols: Many more companies are going to crowd-source advertising and campaign ideas, as well as product and product improvement ideas. The trend started by Procter & Gamble and others is going to become genuinely mainstream, reflecting the reality that no small specialist team has a monopoly on ideas. But the role of experts won’t go away; rather it will evolve to one of helping to identify the best consumer ideas and shaping them into powerful and compelling brand platforms.

State of the industry

In the context of the current economic climate, what trends in digital marketing spending do you expect to see in 2010?

Broitman: Marketers are moving toward quantifiable efforts more than ever and proving dollar-for-dollar ROI is becoming more popular. One trend that I hope is short lived is a scenario where the awareness pendulum swings too far in the opposite direction, and as a result, creativity is stifled due to too much measurement. As a quant geek, I love to measure everything, but as a storyteller, I know the importance of creative; the two don’t always play nicely together.

Flamberg: Tight-fisted clients will vet every new spend. Refreshes will be extended. Repurposing and repackaging content will be the order of the day.

Dave Morgan: 2010 will be a tough year for advertising and marketing. Unfortunately, I believe that the post-stimulus economy is very likely to bring us a double-dip drop. Digital will fare better than other channels. But it could be a tough year.

Nichols: The buyers are changing. More and more of the money is being spent by generalist agencies and marketers versus digital specialists. The mainstreaming of digital. Our industry has been slow to evolve its information sources to reflect the needs of these well-heeled new buyers.

David L. Smith: Much more video. Incorporation of real-time search, giving search another growth spurt, although not necessarily for the same companies, [and] applications as the « new rich media » becoming standard ad units.

State of the industry, cont.

Which industries will shine in their digital marketing efforts in 2010?

Flamberg: Porn, gaming, entertainment media, and telecom.

Morgan: Consumer electronics, distance education, and local retail could all shine this coming year. Each has some secular growth drivers.

Nichols: I expect a big advance in digital media utilization by local companies. Well beyond search.

Smith: Tech will lead the way. Companies like Cisco, Intel, and HP understand how to spend their way out of a down cycle.

If you could make one change to the interactive marketing industry, what would it be?

Kleinberg: I’d shift the ROI conversation from one of measuring cost to one of measuring value. Agencies are perceived as commodities by many marketers right now. It’s because of the scrutiny around what now can be measured easily with digital technology. However, the very real, but intangible value that smart, creative, strategic agencies can provide is overlooked because it might not neatly fit into a spreadsheet.

Nichols: That we consistently act consumer-centrically rather than vehicle-centrically.

Schwartz: Faster uptake on creating metrics around new platforms, new behaviors. A willingness as an industry to move toward standards and evolve old thinking on measurement.

Smith: Systems integration. Enable publisher systems to communicate with agency systems. Of course, in order to do that, they both have major retrofitting of their own systems, and there needs be a lot of across-the-table collaboration.

1. BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL

Ruthless capitalism went out of fashion way before the crisis hit

In 2010, prepare for ‘business as unusual’. For the first time, there’s a global understanding, if not a feeling of urgency that sustainability, in every possible meaning of the word, is the only way forward. How that should or shouldn’t impact consumer societies is of course still part of a raging debate, but at least there is a debate.

Meanwhile, in mature consumer societies, companies will have to do more than just embrace the notion of being a good corporate citizen. To truly prosper, they will have to ‘move with the culture’. This may mean displaying greater transparency and honesty, or having conversations as opposed to one-way advertising, or championing collaboration instead of an us-them mentality. Or, it could be intrinsically about generosity versus greed, or being a bit edgy and daring as opposed to safe and bland.

As always, the future is unevenly distributed: one only needs to look at the Googles and the Amazons and the Zappos and the Virgins of this world to get a feel for ‘business as unusual’. So not surprisingly, the trends in this briefing all touch on doing things differently, driven by changing consumer preferences and desires. Time to study and learn from those brands that you think are already mirroring today’s more diverse, chaotic, networked society, and then outdo them 😉


2. URBANY

A defining trend for 2010, 2011, 2012, and so on: urbanization on steroids. We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

  • « Less than 5 per cent of the world’s population lived in cities a century ago. In 2008, for the first time in humanity, that figure exceeded 50 per cent. In the last two decades alone, the urban population of the developing world has grown by an average of 3 million people per week.”
  • “By 2050, it will have reached 70 per cent, representing 6.4 billion people. Most of this growth will be taking place in developing regions; Asia will host 63 percent of the global urban population, or 3.3 billion people in 2050.” (Source: the Global Report on Human Settlements 2009, October 2009.)

Where will this lead us? We’ve dubbed this extreme push towards urbanization ‘URBANY’, representing a global consumer arena inhabited by billions of experienced and newly-minted urbanites. The significance?

A forever-growing number of more sophisticated, more demanding, but also more try-out-prone, super-wired urban consumers are snapping up more ‘daring’ goods, services, experiences, campaigns and conversations.
And thanks to near-total online transparency of the latest and greatest, those consumers opting to remain in rural areas will be tempted to act (and shop) online like urban consumers, too.

This of course creates fertile grounds for B2C brands keen on pushing the innovation envelope in any possible way. As Alex Steffen, editor of WorldChanging stated last year: “I’m certainly not saying that all innovation is urban, or that the suburbs are brain dead or anything. I am saying that compact, wired and wealthy urban communities seem to me to be becoming the epicenters of innovation these days, and that is going to change what innovations emerge.”

Oh, and don’t even get us started on the growing consensus that cities could actually be the most sustainable form of human settlement. But we’ll save that one for a future briefing.

URBAN PRIDE

Preparing for URBANY and more sophisticated consumers is one thing, running with this trend is another. So here’s a hands-on sub-trend to get you going: URBAN PRIDE.

Basically, in thriving mega-cities, whose economic and cultural power already often surpass that of entire nations, inhabitants’ identities will be closely tied to a city’s culture, its brand, its heritage, its ‘being’. This means that for big brands, delivering city-specific products, services and communications that truly incorporate a city’s character, will be a great, human and fun way to pay respect to urban citizens around the world.

So, in 2010 and beyond, you basically can’t go wrong to appeal to urbanites’ pride. Some random examples:

  • The Absolut Cities Series first launched in New Orleans in 2007, when the brand developed a special mango and black pepper blend inspired by the city. Later in 2007, Absolut rolled out the City Series to Los Angeles, and in August 2009, Absolut released the taste of Boston – a black tea and elderflower vodka that has a backdrop reminiscent of Fenway Park’s Green Monster.

  • Since August 2009, people using five Bank Machine ATMs in East London have been able to opt to have their prompts and options given to them in Cockney rhyming slang.
  • Guerlain launched a series of city-themed perfumes in July 2009, exclusively available at UK department store Harrods for GBP 130. Paris – Moscow is a combination of musk, fruit and wood; Paris – New York mixes vanilla, cinnamon and cedar; and jasmine, violet and green tea combine to create Paris – Tokyo.

3. REAL-TIME REVIEWS

Live reviews from aboard the maiden flight of BA’s new all-business service between London City and JFK

We recently highlighted NOWISM*, and while that mega-trend in its entirety should be on your radar for the next 12 months, let’s dive into one sub-trend that will be truly disruptive: the rise of REAL-TIME REVIEWS.

In short, with even more people sharing, in real time, everything they do**, buy, listen to, watch, attend, wear and so on, and with even more search engines and tracking services making it easy to find and group these ‘live dispatches’ by theme, topic or brand, 2010 will see ready-to-buy consumers tapping into a live stream of (first-hand) experiences from fellow consumers.

* Consumers’ ingrained lust for instant gratification is being satisfied by a host of novel, important (offline and online) real-time products, services and experiences. Consumers are also feverishly contributing to the real-time content avalanche that’s building as we speak.

** As more people are reviewing and contributing, the sheer mass of opinions will lead to a real-time stream of information, findable and viewable to all. In addition, online access and device convergence will allow more on-the-spot reviews. Twitter is the much-deserved poster child for real-time reviews: it has established itself as the real-time snapshot of what people are thinking/feeling/experiencing and yes, reviewing, around the world.

Next: Just because they can (Twitter’s Direct Messages come to mind), consumers who will need more specifics after reading a review, will want to get in direct touch with the reviewer. And because of the self-selecting nature of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, these direct conversations will actually be welcomed by the reviewer, too. By posting reviews for his peers, he or she is almost angling for a follow-up. This will lead to real conversations between like-minded customers and potential buyers, without the brand even being able to monitor what’s being said about its products, let alone being able to respond.

So, in 2010, expect numerous services to capitalize on this burgeoning ‘global brain’, and its endless real-time reviews and verdicts. Just one example:

  • EezeeRator is a free travel companion from French Air Valid that allows passengers to post airline reviews while in flight. Travelers need only download the application—an Android version is available now, with iPhone software coming next month. With an on-board wifi connection, they can then use the application to search for airline and flight information, post reviews, and send messages, tweets and pictures in real-time from their phones. All messages are moderated by the EezeeRator team, and a GPS function confirms that users are where they say they are.

Oh, and how to deal with REAL-TIME REVIEWS? Either outperform so reviews will be positive, or adopt a radical ‘beta-mindset’ (re-read our FOREVERISM briefing for more on this) which means you involve customers in your development processes from day one, eliminating the possibility of out-of-the-blue bad reviews upon launch.

Love this stuff? Then do re-read our TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH and NOWISM briefings, too. No rest for the wicked!


Never miss a Trend Briefing again

4. (F)LUXURY

Luxury. Is it a family of six? Owning a SUB instead of a SUV? Needing nothing at all? You decide.

In 2010, luxury, and what it means to a bewildering number of ‘consumer segments’, will remain in flux.

So how will luxury brands fare in the next 12 months? What will define luxury over the next few years? The answer is ‘luxury will be whatever you want it to be’. After all, what constitutes luxury is closely related to what constitutes scarcity. And, beyond the basic needs, scarcity is in the eye of the beholder, especially those beholders who are desperately trying to be unique. Now that there are so many more ways to be unique than just buy the biggest and the most expensive, how about luxury constituting:

Anything commissioned? Providing ‘access’? Secrets? Stories? Time with one’s loved ones? Time for oneself? All things local? Peace and quiet, if not escape? Eco-friendly? Human-friendly? Animal-friendly? Caring? Empathy? Perks? Craft? Friends? Having a larger-than-life perspective? Households of six or more? An audience? Eccentricity? Appointment-only? Relevant information? Extreme personalization? Not having or wanting to consume? Being opinionated? Anything premium? Fuck-you money? Curation if not the absence of any kind of choice? Philanthropy? Bespoke goods and services? Knowledge? Skills? Frugality? Health? Etiquette & manners? Or a mix of any of these?

So don’t worry about missing out on the next big thing in luxury, focus on defining it. How? By finding and coining the right (status) trigger for the right audience. Just declare that the end is nigh for anything that’s getting a little too affordable, too accessible, too polluting, or just too well-known. Then introduce something very different (if not the opposite), appealing to the in-crowds who are ready to jump ship anyway 😉

P.S. We’re not saying ‘traditional’ luxury is going to disappear. Case in point: LIMITED LOCATIONS, a (F)LUXURY sub-trend that ties in nicely with aforementioned URBAN PRIDE.

LIMITED LOCATIONS

We know you all know about limited editions as an enduring luxury-strategy; it is an easy way to appeal to consumers’ need for exclusivity and scarcity, amidst a ‘Sea of Sameness’. So why not introduce LIMITED LOCATIONS to extend the scarcity theme to the distribution channel?

In 2010, just sell something special, something premium, something desirable in just one (geographical) location. Which means forgoing a chain-wide rollout or selling to all from a borderless e-shop. The limitation this will put on distribution opportunities will be compensated for by enthusiasm, PR and premium prices.

For shoppers, it brings back the thrill of (literally) having to go places to pick up something for others or themselves. Think about it, what better cure for retail blandness than to turn a Stockholm or Istanbul flagship store into a true destination again? Or what if every one of your stores/outlets/venues had its own unique experience and assortment?

Like aforementioned URBAN PRIDE, turning locations into destinations is something that will mainly benefit bigger brands, helping them become less cookie-cutter, less bland, as niche brands almost practice LIMITED LOCATIONS by default.

Examples from brands already having fun with LIMITED LOCATIONS:

  • Fashion brand Bape sells some of its limited edition lines only in stores in the Kagoshima, Harajuku, Nagoya and Matsuyama regions of Tokyo.
  • Burberry’s Blue Label is a line of Burberry stores exclusive to Japan that features a more fitted, sassier version of Burberry styles.
  • Le Labo fragrances, with fragrance boutiques in New York, LA and Tokyo, and mini-shops in department stores in cities like London, Las Vegas and Berlin, produces an exclusive scent for each major city it sells in, restricting the fragrance’s availability to that city alone.
  • At Heathrow’s Terminal 5, a number of brands have designed exclusive products for their airside stores. Travelers can purchase a range of one-off items, including a pendant from Bulgari, a silver model of the terminal itself from Links of London, and an exclusive Krispy Kreme T5 doughnut.

5. MASS MINGLING

More people than ever will be living large parts of their lives online in 2010. Yet, those same people will also mingle, meet up, and congregate more often with other ‘warm bodies’ in the offline world.
In fact, social media and mobile communications are fueling a MASS MINGLING that defies virtually every cliché about diminished human interaction in our ‘online era’.

So, forget (for now) a future in which the majority of consumers lose themselves in virtual worlds. Ironically the same technology that was once seen to be—and condemned for—turning entire generations into homebound gaming zombies and avatars, is now deployed to get people out of their homes.

Basically, the more people can get their hands on the right info, at home and on the go; the more they date and network and twitter and socialize online, the more likely they are to eventually meet up with friends and followers in the real world. Why? Because people actually enjoy interacting with other warm bodies, and will do so forever. A list of MASS MINGLING facts and drivers:

  • Social media is all about other people to begin with.
    From a recent Pew report: « When we examine people’s full personal network – their strong ties and weak ties – internet use in general and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular are associated with having a more diverse social network. Again, this flies against the notion that technology pulls people away from social engagement. »
  • The most popular and/or hyped online services, from Foursquare to Google Latitude to Loopt to FireEagle, are currently all about following, finding, tracking, connecting to, and ultimately (spontaneously) meeting up with interesting people (friends and strangers). For some users of these services, ‘life-streaming’ is now a reality, especially when combined with their blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates pages.
  • Terabytes of online (local) content is about informing and alerting people to make the most of their time with others in the real world.
  • Last but not least: The mobile web has bridged the gap between either being offline in the real world, or being online but in one location (mostly living rooms and offices). Thanks to a dozen years of predicting an imminent, mass-breakthrough of mobile internet, no one gets really excited about the prospect of no longer being stuck when online. However, it will dominate 2010, and it will fuel MASS MINGLING like there’s no tomorrow, as online will be offline by default, and vice versa.

Next for MASS MINGLING will be even more impromptu, temporary meet-ups of strangers, mobs and crowds with similar interests, hobbies, political preferences, causes and grievances. Many of these (temporary) meet-ups will revolve around generating public attention, or getting something done. And here too, Twitter will lead the way (tweetmobs, anyone?).

The opportunity is obvious: Anyone involved with anything that helps people get and stay in touch, that gets people from A-Z, or that accommodates those people before, during or after meeting-up with others, should not only rejoice in MASS MINGLING, but make it even easier for customers to meet up in any possible way, too.

Now, there are thousands of MASS MINGLING examples as it is, so we’ll stick with just one fun one that is still in ‘concept’:

  • UK network Channel 4 announced the ongoing development of a Facebook app for the hit show ‘Come Dine With Me‘. The app will give fans of the show, in which amateur chefs hold competing dinner parties for one another, the tools to host their own parties with their Facebook friends.

6. ECO-EASY

The numerous green opportunities we highlighted in our ECO-BOUNTY briefing are still up for grabs. From ECO-STURDY to ECO-ICONIC to ECO-TRANSIENT. So what else is building in the Green Arena in 2010? How about ECO-EASY:

While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful, serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives to begin with.

Which will often mean forceful, if not painful, government intervention, or some serious corporate guts, or brilliantly smart design and thinking, if not all of those combined.
Think anything from thoroughly green buildings, to a complete ban on plastic bags and bottles, to super-strict bluefin tuna quota — anything that by default leaves no choice, no room for complacency, and thus makes it ‘easy’ for consumers (and corporations) to do the right and necessary thing.

Some recent, random and hands-on ECO-EASY examples, from governments to B2C brands, to get you going (or better, to copy or build on):

  • The small town of Bundanoon in Australia’s New South Wales has banned the sale of bottled water for environmental reasons. The community voted to replace branded water bottles with empty bottles labeled « Bundy on tap » that can be filled and refilled with water from taps and fountains on the main street.
  • In September 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced plans to introduce a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in France. Polluters will have to pay EUR 17 per ton of carbon emitted, which includes not only businesses but individual households as well. The tax will cover 70% of the country’s carbon emissions and bring in about EUR 4.3 billion of revenue annually.
  • The government of Mexico City recently passed a law restricting businesses from giving out plastic bags that are not biodegradable. Mexico City becomes the second large metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw the bags. San Francisco enacted an ordinance in March 2007 that gave supermarkets six months and large chain pharmacies about a year to phase out the bags.

  • UK sandwich chain Pret a Manger decided to stop selling tuna sandwiches after the Earth Day 2009 release of End of the Line, a documentary exposing over-fishing of the world’s oceans.


7. TRACKING & ALERTING

Consumers weaving their web of instant checking, tracking and alerting

If INFOLUST (consumers lusting after relevant information) is the enduring mega trend, then TRACKING and ALERTING are its du jour sub-trends.

First of all, ‘TRACKING & ALERTING is the new searching’, as it saves consumers time, makes it impossible to forget or miss out, and thus ultimately gives them yet another level of control. Count on everything being tracked and alerted on (there’s more than FedEx packages!): from friends (MASS MINGLING!) to enemies to fuel prices to flights to authors to pizzas to any mentions of oneself.

Oh, and ALERTING, when done well, is of course the ultimate in INFOLUST: relevant information finding consumers, based on (voluntarily revealed) preferences.

The real opportunity in 2010? TRACKING and ALERTING is something that consumers actually need and want, that delights them, that they crave. They are quite literally asking for relevant information, even giving you permission to provide them with more. What’s not to like? Learn from examples below, then start adding to the current information overload in meaningful ways 😉

  • A Box Life is an initiative by the Columbia sportswear company to promote the reuse of boxes used to ship purchases made from their online store. The program allows consumers to track the path and life of their boxes through Columbia’s A Box Life website. Customers can enter a box’s unique tracking number or QR code and see where it’s been, how far it has traveled and find out about the other people who have passed the box on. In just over one month after A Box Life’s launch in 2009, over 66% of all Columbia’s orders were being shipped in reused boxes.
  • Fitbit is a small device the user can wear around the clock for continuous, automatic and comprehensive fitness reporting. With a 3D motion sensor the Fitbit tracks the user’s activity in three dimensions and converts that data into useful information. Once this is uploaded onto the Fitbit website, users can view detailed data about their fitness-related activities; they can also enter data about what they’ve eaten and participate in collaborative fitness goals.
  • In an effort to be more transparent, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has introduced an online tracking program which allows New Yorkers to view city agency performance and the expenditure of the USD 5 billion in federal stimulus money that New York received.
  • Launched in San Francisco in early August 2009, Curtis Kimball’s mobile Crème Brûlée Cart has attracted more than 8,000 Twitter followers, who rely on his tweets to find out exactly where he’ll be, and what flavors are on the menu.
  • The Warm Cookie Radar from Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery sends customers email alerts when batches of just-baked cookies have rolled out of the oven.
  • Kogi Korean BBQ sells its Korean/Mexican fusion food primarily through two trucks that are always on the move to new locations in the Los Angeles area. To know where to find them, customers must follow Kogi on Twitter.
  • In 2009, the Brazilian transit authority starting using Twitter to update São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro’s motorists and pedestrians of any traffic incidents or transport news. The feed broadcasts tweets from the authority itself, as well as allowing users to share their own experiences of the city’s traffic and transport.
  • MediClim is a free service in the US and UK for people suffering from arthritis, asthma and cardiovascular disease. Subscribers sign up on the website and complete a brief medical questionnaire. On days with weather conditions that are expected to trigger health problems, subscribers receive an email, or an alert through MediClim’s Facebook application, with notification of the conditions and their possible impact.
  • Launched in October 2009, Lufthansa’s MySkyStatus lets passengers keep their friends and loved-ones up-to-date on their travel progress. The online service sends automatic status updates on location, altitude, departure and arrival to passengers’ Twitter and Facebook pages.
  • The NetHaggler browser plugin allows consumers to capture the details of any product from participating online retailers and then choose whether to Tag, Nag or Haggle. Tagging simply allows users to set an alert when the product reaches a certain price. If the user chooses to Nag, then their preferred price will be sent to the retailer who will respond with a yes, no, or counter offer. Haggling is similar, but allows NetHaggler to aggregate demand and negotiate a bulk discount. Note: for more pricing-related alerts, see our TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH briefing.

And yes, ‘Augmented Reality’ (A field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data, where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time. Source: Wikipedia) adds yet another layer of convenience to existing TRACKING and ALERTING services. It never ends.


8. EMBEDDED GENEROSITY

GENERATION G(ENEROSITY). It was big in 2009, and it will be even bigger in 2010. In particular all things EMBEDDED GENEROSITY. It incorporates all giving initiatives that make giving and donating painless, if not automatic (after all, pragmatism is the religion ;-).
On top of that, with collaboration being such an integral part of the zeitgeist, expect lots of innovative corporate giving schemes that involve customers by letting them co-donate and/or co-decide.

So check out these innovative, corporate EMBEDDED GENEROSITY examples that are worth copying or improving on in 2010:

  • Australian Baby Teresa manufactures and sells a variety of 100% cotton onesies for babies, and, for each one purchased, donates another to a baby in need somewhere in the world.
  • IKEA’s SUNNAN LED desk lamp is powered by solar cells. The product retails for USD 19.99, and for every unit sold in IKEA stores worldwide, another one will be donated to UNICEF to give to children without electricity in refugee camps and villages in remote areas.
  • Still going strong, Procter & Gamble and UNICEF have joined forces for the fourth year running, in an effort to raise money for tetanus vaccines. Each time a pack of the Pampers or Fairy brands bearing a « 1 Pack = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine » logo is purchased, P&G will donate the cost of one vaccine to UNICEF.
  • TOMS Shoes donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell online. As of August 2009, TOMS has given over 150,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. TOMS shoes plans to give 1 million shoes by 2012.
  • Sage Hospitality is encouraging consumers to complete 8 hours of volunteer service in exchange for 50% – 100% off published room rates in their 52 hotels. To take advantage of the ‘Give a Day, Get a Night’ scheme, customers must present a letter from the organization they worked for.
  • Give a Day, Get a Disney Day aims to celebrate and inspire volunteerism. Disney is working with HandsOn Network to highlight a variety of volunteer opportunities with participating organizations across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Starting in January 2010, those who contribute their time can have it verified by HandsOn and they’ll receive a voucher from Disney for one day admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme park.
  • Servus, a Canadian credit union, began handing out CDN 200,000 in ten-dollar bills, giving 20,000 people the opportunity to create a Feel Good Ripple by spending the money on someone else. By pledging CDN 200,00 to the effort, the company hopes to start a ‘ kindness movement’ that will positively affect at least 20,000 people. Servus is distributing the bills through its branches throughout Alberta, and asking participants to write up stories of their kindness online.
  • Campbell’s Help Grow Your Soup campaign aims to raise money to maintain farm buildings in need of refurbishment. The campaign asks consumers to vote for one of ten barns in need of work, and for every vote until January 2010, 1 USD will be donated, (up to USD 250,000) to restore the five barns which receive the most votes.
  • In October 2009, Twitter’s owners announced that they will begin selling wine through their label, called Fledgling Wine. The wine will be bottled from August 2010 and USD 5 of every bottle sold will go to Room to Read, a charity that organizes literacy programs for children around the world.
  • Chicago’s Hotel Burnham launched the charity based initiative ‘Casual Blue’ in 2009. A USD 10 room credit is given to patrons who leave a pair of (old) jeans, which are then donated to local charities.

Never miss a Trend Briefing again

9. PROFILE MYNING

What insights can we possibly add to the avalanche of intelligence available on where social media is going? Here’s one modest attempt: the importance of owning and making the most (financially) of personal profiles.

And no, we’re not referring to companies / advertisers making money from personal profiles (jeez….), even though they’re dying to ‘mine’ personal data to serve up ‘relevant’ ads; we’re putting our money on data and profile mining by its rightful owners, i.e. consumers. Hence the MYNING, not MINING. Opportunities:

  • Now that hundreds of millions of consumers maintain some kind of online profile/presence, who’s going to set up an intermediary representing consumers who are willing to disclose (parts of) their purchasing intentions, and then invite companies to put in bids?
  • With personal profiles (which are the nucleus of one’s personal brand) representing an ever-greater emotional and financial value, expect a burgeoning market for services that protect, store, and, in case of emergencies/death, arrange handing over of one’s digital estate to trusted others.

Examples:

  • For storing, protecting and handing-over individual data, check out Swiss DNA Bank, which launched in August 2009, offers ultra-secure DNA storage that meets Swiss banking regulations. For a one-time fee of USD 399, customers can store both their self-swabbed DNA and up to 1 GB of digital data, forever. The DNA and the web servers are held in a former Swiss military underground nuclear shelter in Gstaad. Customer’s heirs can buy access to their relatives’ shared data for USD 69. For consumers eager to keep confidential info out of the wrong hands, the digital data storage can also be purchased individually for USD 299.
    Similar digital afterlife services worth checking out: LegacyLocker, Death Switch and Slightly Morbid.

P.S. We’ll dedicate an entire Trend Briefing to PROFILE MYNING in the near future, so please stay tuned.



10. MATURIALISM

Let’s face it: 2010 will be rawer, more opinionated, more risqué, more in your face than ever before. Your audiences (who are by now thoroughly exposed to, well, anything, for which you can thank first and foremost the anything-goes online universe) can handle much more quirkiness, more daring innovations, more risqué communications and conversations, more exotic flavors and so on than traditional marketers could have ever dreamed of. In short; audiences in mature consumer societies no longer tolerate being treated like yesteryear’s uninformed, easily shocked, inexperienced, middle-of-the-road consumer.

We’ve dubbed this MATURIALISM (mature materialism), and, to go full circle, it is closely linked to BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL, to URBANY, to PROFILE MYNING, if not all trends in this Trend Briefing.

So, in 2010, the question is how far you can/should go as a brand, when mirroring societal beliefs that are about anything but being meek. And no, we’re not saying you have to be rude or nasty or inconsiderate; this is about being a tad more daring and diverse if you want to move with the culture.

  • Designed by Moscow-based creative agency Firma, « BDSM », « Fetish » and « Toys » are concept lollipops created for Chupa Chups with a decidedly adult feel (pictured above).

  • In a high-profile stance against Proposition 8 (which prohibits gay marriage in California) American Apparel released their Legalize Gay t-shirt in November 2008, which was originally printed to give to protesters at rallies and marches. However, popularity and support of the shirt was so overwhelming that the brand released the shirt for general sale.

  • The Icecreamists is a UK ice cream brand that has positioned itself using premium, X-rated flavors. The Sex Pistol is the most recent flavor, which is available exclusively at The Icecreamists’ pop-up shop, open in London’s Selfridges department store from September to November 2009, it is deemed so potent that sales are limited to one per customer.

  • Philips recently unveiled the latest addition to its ‘relationship care’ line of adult toys. The Dual Sensual Massager includes devices for both partners in a relationship.
  • Wine Cellar Sorbets sells a range of unique sorbets with varietal wines as the main ingredient. The range features traditional vineyard flavors including Sangria Rojo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Riesling and Champagne.

  • Parisian designer, Nicole Locher, has launched a collection of women’s tops with embroidered messages including « I Aint Your Fucking Sweetheart », « Little Slut », « Don’t You Fucking Look At Me.

  • In mid-2009, Air New Zealand launched an ad campaign designed to highlight the airline’s transparent prices, which include checked baggage and refreshments. The ad features a range of airline employees going about their business dressed in nothing but body paint.

While the ‘risqué’ part of MATURIALISM makes for fun material (we obviously couldn’t resist), the trend will equally become about more mature, real conversations with customers, it will be about educating consumers about the products and services you sell, how to make the most of them (yes, STATUS SKILLS come to mind), or about displaying the same transparency and openness about your processes and actions as individual consumers now display about their own lives, for all to see.

Afraid to offend and even lose some customers when jumping on the MATURALISM wagon in 2010? Just think of those future, less-uptight generations you’ll definitely lose if you don’t 😉

Le sociologue Stéphane Hugon décrypte le bouleversement des modèles économiques issu de l’Internet (1)

« Sud Ouest ». L’économie numérique était présentée comme un eldorado économique.

Stéphane Hugon. Avant d’être un marché, c’est devenu surtout une valeur sociétale. La première grande surprise de cet eldorado, c’est que tous ceux qui avaient structuré l’offre économique de l’Internet dans les années 90 étaient des gens qui venaient des médias. Selon eux, il fallait faciliter les rapports d’un public passif avec un contenu. On pensait qu’Internet serait un média comme un autre pour « servir » un flux de données.

Ce n’est pas ce qui est arrivé, avec l’émergence des réseaux sociaux comme Facebook.

C’est donc nous qui avons changé ?

Tout le modèle économique de départ : presse, télé, radio, était fondé sur l’exclusivité du contenu. C’est la technologie qui a révélé une transformation de notre société dans la manière de se présenter soi-même, de construire la confiance ou d’être ensemble.

Il y a eu un opportunisme des jeunes générations par rapport à l’Internet qui a été largement détourné par rapport à son sens initial.

C’est pour cela qu’il y a de la surprise et de l’interrogation par rapport au modèle économique qui devrait se mettre en place.

L’économie est donc bouleversée ?

Par exemple, le rapport à la propriété est modifié, puisque la propriété n’est plus le vecteur du désir. Cela change aussi la relation aux institutions et aux marques. La relation aux entreprises est totalement transformée par les consommateurs, qui ne sont plus passifs.

Tous les gens du marketing doivent adopter une posture d’humilité s’ils ne veulent pas se faire contourner.

Les agences de communication s’en plaignent, et il faut rechercher de la pertinence plutôt que de la puissance.

Cela laisse de la place à des entreprises plus petites ?

Sur Facebook, il y a même des petites entreprises, voire des artisans, qui accèdent à des méthodes publicitaires pour toucher des contacts avec moins d’argent. C’est pour cela que le marché publicitaire en a peur, puisque la marque est en contact beaucoup plus direct avec ses consommateurs, et ce sont les grandes agences qui sont perdantes. Elles avaient pris le pouvoir dans les années 80 et elles sont en train de le perdre.

C’est le Web social, comme Facebook, qui possède les bases de données des utilisateurs et qui construit des ciblages extrêmement fins pour permettre de toucher toutes les personnes qui répondent à certains critères. Ce sont eux qui peuvent vendre.

C’est là que réside aussi le danger de la surveillance généralisée ?

Le fichier Edvige de la police en était une pâle imitation et il est exact qu’il y a un fichage volontaire.

Le ministère de l’Intérieur utilise ces réseaux sociaux, comme le font tous les DRH des entreprises. Big Brother est là, mais c’est nous ! Avec l’Internet, on passe de la surveillance à la sous-veillance.

Quand on est tous fichés, les hommes politiques et les entreprises le sont aussi, et la moindre de leurs incartades de langage est immédiatement connue de tous.

(1) Il participera aujourd’hui au colloque organisé par la Chaire de l’économie numérique avec Philippe Lemoine, Thierry Happe, Alain Ricros, Georges Viala et Frédéric Vilcoq.

(CNN) — As 2009 draws to a close, the Web’s attention turns to the year ahead. What can we expect of the online realm in 2010?

While Web innovation is unpredictable, some clear trends are becoming apparent. Expect the following 10 themes to define the Web next year:

Real-time ramps up

Sparked by Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, the real-time trend has been to the latter part of 2009 what « Web 2.0 » was to 2007. The term represents the growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive … it’s a sense of living in the now.

But real-time is more than just a horde of new Twitter-like services hitting the Web in 2010 (although that’s inevitable — cargo cults abound). It’s a combination of factors, from the always-connected nature of modern smartphones to the instant gratification provided by a Google search.

Why wait until you get home to post a restaurant review, asks consumer trends tracker Trendwatching, when scores of iPhone apps let you post feedback as soon as you finish dessert? Why wonder about the name of that song, when humming into your phone handset will garner an instant answer from Midomi?

Look out, too, for real-time collaboration: Google Wave launched earlier this year, resulting in both excitement and confusion. A crossover between instant messaging, e-mail and a wiki, Wave is a platform for getting things done together. Web users, however, remain baffled. In 2010, Wave’s utility will become more apparent.

Location, location, location

Fueled by the ubiquity of GPS in modern smartphones, location-sharing services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and Google Latitude are suddenly in vogue.

As I ruminated in this column two weeks ago, Foursquare and its ilk may become the breakout services of the year … provided they’re not crushed by the addition of location-based features to Twitter and Facebook.

What’s clear is that location is not about any singular service; rather, it’s a new layer of the Web. Soon, our whereabouts may optionally be appended to every Tweet, blog comment, photo or video we post.

Augmented reality

It’s yet to become part of the consumer consciousness, but augmented reality has attracted early-adopter buzz in the latter part of 2009.

Enabled by GPS, mapping data from the likes of Google and the accelerometer technology in modern phones, AR involves overlaying data on your environment; imagine walking around a city and seeing it come to life with reviews of the restaurants you walk past and Wikipedia entries about the sights you see.

When using Layar, for instance, the picture from your phone’s video camera is overlaid with bubbles of information from Yelp, Wikipedia, Google Search and Twitter. The challenge for such services is to prove their utility: They have the « cool factor, » but can they be truly useful?

Content ‘curation’

The Web’s biggest challenge of recent years is that content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it: « Information overload » has become an increasingly common complaint.

In the attention economy, with its millions of daily status updates and billions of Web pages vying for our time, how do we best allocate that scarce resource? One solution has been algorithmic: Sites like Google News source the best stuff by technical means, but fall short when it comes to personalization.

In 2008, the answer revealed itself: Your friends are your filter. With the launch of its Facebook Connect program, Facebook allowed sites to offer content personalization based on the preferences of your network.

Meanwhile, Google’s Social Search experiment is investigating whether Web searching is improved by using information gleaned from your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and the rest. Increasingly, your friends are becoming the curators of your consumption, from Web links to movies, books and TV shows.

Professional « curation » has its place, too: Who better to direct our scarce attention than experts in their fields? I explored this possibility in a CNN article last month titled « Twitter lists and real-time journalism » .

Cloud computing

Cloud computing was very much a buzzword of 2009, but there’s no doubt this transition will continue. The trend, in which data and applications cease to reside on our desktops and instead exist on servers elsewhere (« the cloud »), makes our data accessible from anywhere and enables collaboration with distributed teams.

The cloud movement will see a major leap forward in the first half of 2010 with the launch of « Office Web Apps, » free online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote released in tandem with Microsoft Office 2010.

Next year will also see the launch of Google’s Chrome OS, a free, Web-centric operating system that forces us to ask: How many desktop applications do we really need?

Internet TV and movies

Is 2010 the year the majority of our television starts coming to us via the Internet? There’s certainly more activity here than at any other time: Among the early-adopter set, Hulu, Boxee, Apple TV and Netflix’s Roku box lead the field.

Hulu in particular has sustained remarkable growth this year, while the movie studios are getting on board with the launch of Epix, a Hulu for films.

Convergence conundrum

The outlook for devices in 2010 appears somewhat contradictory: While the convergence trend continues apace and many of our gadgets are folded into the smartphones we carry around every day, we’re seeing a converse trend in which task-specific devices gain popularity.

GPS device maker TomTom recently introduced a $100 iPhone app that removes the need to buy a TomTom hardware device. Google then one-upped the company by releasing free turn-by-turn directions on devices running its Android operating system. Garmin and TomTom beware: Standalone GPS devices may meet their demise in 2010.

Also on the endangered gadgets list: Flip video cameras, which PC World declared dead upon the launch of the iPhone 3G S. Meanwhile, Apple executives say the iPhone is cannibalizing the iPod: Why carry two devices when you only need one?

Paradoxically, the e-book reader is seeing traction as a single-use device. With hard-to-read, power-hungry laptop screens proving impractical for reading, and smartphone screens proving too small, the Kindle and its competitors are gaining buzz.

However, I’d argue that the e-book reader is a fad: Carrying an extra device is never desirable, and the major factor preventing convergence is the lack of superior screen technology. Flexible, expanding low-power screens on cell phones might tip the balance.

The real power of Amazon’s Kindle is its ease of use: a virtual bookstore so simple that it does for books what Apple’s iTunes did for music. The devices will converge, but the « app store » model for books will persist across all devices. The technology won’t be with us in 2010, however.

Social gaming

There’s little risk of social gaming proving a bad bet in 2010 — Zynga’s FarmVille game on Facebook now counts more active users than Twitter, claims a Facebook executive. Meanwhile, rival Playfish was recently acquired by Electronic Arts in a deal valued at up to $400 million.

Of growing interest in 2010, however, will be the virtual currencies these games have spawned: In the allegedly unmonetizable world of social media, virtual buying and selling may be the route to riches for some social media sites — a concept I outlined in this column under the title « Is Facebook the future of micropayments? »

Mobile payments

I’d wager that 2010 will be the breakthrough year of the much-anticipated mobile payments market. While much of Asia has embraced the technology, the U.S., in particular, has lagged. There’s reason for optimism in 2010, however: From PayPalX to Amazon’s mobile payments platform for developers, the big players are seizing the mobile payments opportunity.

Meanwhile, newcomer Square, founded by the creator of Twitter, began its rollout this week to much early-adopter excitement: The company enables merchants to accept payments via Apple’s iPhone.

Fame abundance, privacy scarcity

Warhol was right: Fame is now abundant. Social media has birthed a galaxy of stars in thousands of niches: We’re all reality stars now, on Facebook, Twitter and all the myriad online outlets where we hone our personal brands.

We’re seeing the ongoing voluntary erosion of privacy through public sharing on Facebook and Twitter, the rise of location-based services and the inclusion of video cameras in a growing array of devices.

The incredible efficiency of Web-based communication and our Google-fueled appetite to know everything about everything (or everyone) right now are combining to make Tiger Woods the canary in the privacy coal mine. Expect personal privacy — or rather its continued erosion — to be a hot media topic of 2010.