Media Forecast

August 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As I type this, Tropical Storms Gustav and Hanna are doing the two-step across the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. People in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Louisiana, and Texas are paying very close attention to the projected paths of the storms. 

In the marketing communications world, the technological storm continues to gather strength. New media develop constantly, and any company, person, or organization that has a message must get some bearings and choose a direction carefully. To do so, we need a forecast. How can we know what evaluation methods will become available and whether social networking sites will have lasting impact? What media will fade into irrelevance? Let’s look at some of the main drivers of the changing media climate to draw a projected path.

1. Mobility

The ever-shrinking chip continues to drive us from desktops to laptops to PDAs and beyond. We’ve come a long way since Desk Set and if Moore’s Law holds, the future undoubtedly promises even more marvelously portable communications gadgets. If holographic projection becomes feasible for personal communications devices, then screen size will no longer be an issue, and we might wear an iRing or a Broochberry. 

2. Environmental Consciousness

We are far from a paperless society, but how many of your bills do you receive online rather than through the mail now? Did the last camera you purchased come with a printed manual or a url leading to an online manual? Catalogs still fill many mailboxes, but if you check the back cover, many of them proudly declare either recycled content or origin in a certified managed forest. Most communities have recycling drives for used telephone directories, but think of the fuel used to deliver these heavy books. Even though 61% of consumers report turning to the Yellow Pages when they are ready to buy, will the online version eventually put an end to the printed edition? There is a great tug of war going on here that is likely to find one direction’s pull stronger in the next couple of decades. The outcome may forcibly introduce vast numbers of small businesses and independent contractors to podcasting, social networking sites, and blogs as marketing tools.

3. Money, Money, Money

As much as some advertisers spend on lavish television advertising, every marketing communicator eventually has to take a close look at the budget. With the recent economic situation, many marketers are eagerly looking for new options that can get the brand out there, establish relationships with customers, investors, regulators, etc., and help the brand survive without breaking the budget. While there is a cost to developing a widget and a time investment to maintaining a MySpace site, it is little compared to a Super Bowl ad, and for some marketers these will be attractive media to try.

What media do you think will be on the endangered list in 25 or 50 years? What would you hate to see go?

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