Top 10 2006 Trends & Predictions

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Last year I published a round up of 2005 trends and predictions. Amazingly, a lot of them came true. I’m not a seer…I just rounded them up.

I didn’t research a compehensive list this year, but I have been paying attention to the market. So while this is a little late and little shorter, here are my Top 10 2006 Predictions and Trends that come to mind for me, as they they relate to marketing and eBusiness:

  1. Blogs will grow in number, but shrink in quality and frequency — Further content and reader fragmentation, lower traffic for lesser blogs, less motivation for bloggers to keep up. The best blogs will get bigger. The worst blogs will have more company.

  2. Increase of consultants and freelancers — Back in the mid-90s, with dot coms and the economy moving at 100mph, there was a movement of the ‘Free Agent Nation" and "The Brand Called You". With economy good, experienced knowledge workers with contacts and demand for services will go out on their own.
  3. Increase in privacy & security solutions — security has become a big concern for consumers and tools and alert services are starting to spread in the market. Marketing funds will follow.
  4. More distribution and sharing of data — RSS and XML are widely accepted and this will be the year of RSS going (semi) mainstream. Companies will open APIs to their system and data. Why? In Web 2.0 the strategy to get ‘eyeballs’ is distribution and sharing content. With all this growth so far and coming, we could see consolidation or demise for lesser-known consumer portals & aggregators, especially those with flawed business model (not again!).
  5. Spammers assault consumer-generated content — More blogs, more forums, time opportunities for spammers to add their voice to the mix.
  6. Ipod sales and podcasts will continue to grow — Last year’s big holiday present will lead to more word of mouth to increase Ipod sales further (I bought my Christmas present!), more diverse listeners, bigger audience for publishers.
  7. Increase in high-bandwidth online merchandising — Money is flowing to agencies, premium products are launching, comeback of ‘product as hero’ merchandising and utilizing flash and video.
  8. Web analytics and business intelligence "merge" — Companies are looking for integration of multiple sources of data in the multi-channel world where analytics are the primary means to cut costs and protect customer share. CRM is coming back, in a way. Mostly focused on increasing visibility and consolidate data sources, reporting and analysis tools as they relate to customer information and their behavior and how they relate to the financials.
  9. Demand for "on-demand" increases — ASP solutions mature, costs are lower, companies open to open-source and hosted technology because internal solutions are orphaned or costly.
  10. Customers are in charge — Consumer generated content and word of mouth is a big story strategic imperative for CMOs this year. Listening analysis tools (such as Intelliseek, Kaava, Cymphony, Buzzmetrics) become more visible. But moreover, companies will look for new ways to drive customer-generated content with measured ROI and maintaining integrity of their brand.

2 Responses

  1. Jason Johnson says:

    Agreed, especially on #1. I know I have started at least 4 blogs in the past year, each to gradually fall by the wayside.
    Also, what about the increase in industry buzz words?
    “Mission Critical”, “Leveraged” and the like? As the demand for consultants rise, flashy terminology is sure to take off as well.

  2. Mack Collier says:

    “Blogs will grow in number, but shrink in quality and frequency — Further content and reader fragmentation, lower traffic for lesser blogs, less motivation for bloggers to keep up. The best blogs will get bigger. The worst blogs will have more company.”
    Definitely think the quality will shrink. You’re going to have an influx of people jumping on the blogosphere because it is the ‘next big thing’, and they will be learning as they go. As you say, they probably won’t have the patience to stick with their blogs to do what it will take to build traffic, nor the knowledge.
    Technorati currently tracks 25 million blogs. I expect that number to at least double by year’s end.

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