Growth in mobile advertising
Yes, it’s probably featured on every prediction list for the past several years, but ’09 is almost certain to see significant expansion in mobile advertising. Technology, increasing bandwidth and smart phone ubiquity have brought us to the point where engaging mobile campaigns are no longer just pipe dreams. Marketers in ’09 are likely to increasingly leverage direct response opportunities on mobile.
M&A – bargain hunters out on the prowl
I don’t think any economic commentators are expecting conditions to improve markedly in ’09. Fledgling businesses are going to struggle to get second or third round funding and many established businesses are going to see falling valuations. We should expect M&A activity as companies with good liquidity go bargain hunting.
Migration to more measurable channels
This one is happening now is certain to continue into ‘09. As marketing budgets get squeezed, money will continue to flow out of brand led channels and into direct response.
Ad network consolidation
A cursory glance up and down the aisles at industry trade shows is enough to highlight that there are a lot of ad networks out there chasing the same advertisers and knocking on the same publishers’ doors. With the softening display market and the general economic malaise, it’s likely we’ll see some consolidation in ‘09.
Privacy debate will continue to rage
The backwards and forwards between the various stakeholders looks set to continue into ’09. Over the course of next year, we’re likely to see greater consensus reached surrounding the issue of behavioral targeting and the correct rules of engagement.
Widgets / buttons / gadgets – call them what you will, they’ll continue to be big in ‘09
Brands want to reach customers beyond the confines of their websites and consumers want a customized online experience. And widgets are the glue in the middle. Expect continued growth in the widget space in ’09 and in particular with desktop implementations as consumers look to replicate the iPhone experience on their PCs.