December 28, 2008

2009 Multichannel Predictions

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At least 250,000 trade journal articles and blog posts will start with phrases like "5 Easy Ways To Increase Revenue During These Challenging Economic Times". The articles will tell us to do things like offer "great products and great service".

Employees of a major brand will team up with social media advocates to attack the brand for unfair labor practices, beginning a trend of "online unionization" to fight brands that are cutting back on salaries and benefits. This will be more than a simple "Twitter-Storm" over Motrin.

Catalogers, facing declining response and increased costs, will begin to sell advertising to subsidize mailing costs. Catalogers with average circulation of at least one million will be able to generate $20 per thousand, at least $20,000 per page, in advertising revenue from non-competitive advertising partners. Cataloging, as we know it, is forever changed.

Multichannel retailers will struggle with prioritizing capital to meet the needs of an internet channel that is being torn in three different directions ... e-commerce ... search/information/education/entertainment ... and social media, focusing efforts in one directions, instead of three directions.

A dramatic slowdown in offline advertising will result in a lack of online demand generation.

Google stock will dip below $190 a share, as online marketers begin to realize how much of e-commerce is fueled by offline advertising.

The e-commerce slowdown will cause an upheaval among online marketing executives, with CEOs looking for new talent capable of driving sales increases in a lackluster economy.

Late in 2009, one or two catalog co-ops will consolidate with other marketing entities, given the dramatic falloff in catalog customer acquisition performance.

The economy will technically pull out of the recession in Q3-2009, posting exceptionally tepid gains that do not restore business to pre-2008 levels. We'll feel this downturn for four or five years.

A leading third-party catalog opt-out service will continue to see a dramatic slowdown in new users. This should not be seen as a failure.

The ACMA will partner with the USPS to offer catalog brands a significant one-time mailing discount in November 2009, in response to dramatic reductions in catalog mailings during Q1-Q2 2009.

States desperate to increase tax revenue will turn their focus to e-commerce brands for relief.

At least one new social media platform will rise to prominence, cause pundits to decry the imminent death of Facebook and/or Twitter.

The Carolina Panthers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 19-13, in the 2009 Super Bowl.

"Influenced Sales" will become an important part of the multichannel analytical toolkit, as business leaders look to identify channels that do not directly generate sales, but participate in the sales generation process.

By the end of 2009, online brands will embrace business intelligence software from vendors that will ultimately replace long-standing tools like Business Objects and SAS, and rumors of a free Google Analytics enhancement that merges offline and online data will shake up the BI world.

A two-day cyber attack in Q3-2009 will illustrate how fragile cloud computing can be.

One out of eight mall-based stores will close in 2009.

A popular YouTube channel will become a network television program in December.