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First, happy new year to everyone and what a year past for professional communicators.  Shoot, what a year, period!

I wish I had my own top 10 list for 2010, or even for 2009.  Instead, I just feel like I get smarter reading certain lists of others.

I am glad to share this exceptional “10 Things Changing Marketing in 2010” list provided yesterday by Joe Marchese in his “OnlineSpin” blog. 

My high level take-away is that things are still evolving, but people are really beginning to understand real value in the integration old and new media to achieve client objectives.

So, here’s Marchese’s list and I really encourage you to click through to read the details:

“1.     Rise of Mobile – Mobile is going to be huge in 2010, especially if marketers can build digital campaigns with mobile extensions. Digital provides reach, and mobile can provide increased depth of interaction. For more on why 2010 is FINALLY the year of mobile, check out last week’s post on “Why Mobile In 2010.”

2.     Facebook Connect – It’s hard to overstate the implications of Facebook Connect for marketers. The ability to create more rewarding experiences for consumers, and simply be more creative, by using Facebook Connect will change all digital marketing efforts — and, I believe, take “social media” out of its silo. For more on Facebook Connect’s implications, check out “The End of Social Media” and “Secret Race For Permission.”

3.     Cause Marketing – I don’t know what digital rock you’ve been under if you haven’t heard that Pepsi has pulled out of the Super Bowl to focus more on marketing  for the social good. The key will be, can Pepsi activate people to spread its message because of the social good they are doing? Social media makes this a very possible outcome with the right programs put in place. Put simply, Pepsi is hoping, as I wrote earlier, that “Corporate Social Responsibility = Profitability.”

4.     Engagement Pricing – Digital media — heck, all media — needs new metrics that do a better job at measuring the value publishers deliver to marketers. These metrics  should be harder to “fake” – and should be able to be standardized across media outlets for media buyers and planners. No, engagement won’t be the only metric, but I’d put my money (and have) on it being one that stands out in 2010.

5.     Social Media Agencies – I know, it’s crazy, right? How can I claim the “end of social media” is coming and that social media agencies will take off in 2010? Well, for those who read the entire post, I say what actually will end is considering social media a marketing silo. Instead, the skills that make a marketing firm good at executing “social media campaigns” from concept, to execution, to management, will be the skill set required by ALL digital agencies. Most likely, we  will see something like what the marketing industry saw with the growth of search engine marketing: a rise of specialty agencies in the social media space, and the subsequent acquisitions of said agencies by holding companies and larger digital shops to help provide scale. 

6.     Local – See mobile. If you’re working on a national brand, what’s your local mobile and digital strategy extension?

7.     Brand Dollars Go Digital – It can be argued very easily that we are witnessing a “direct response bubble” in digital marketing. This is because of a near obsession in closing the loop on ROI measurement. More and more marketers are expanding their definitions of digital ROI outside of direct response and looking at how digital can help achieve brand objectives. And as I argued before, it’s just a question of scale and efficacy before digital media can compared to more traditional forms of marketing initiatives. See: “$1 Million Social Media Marketing Challenge.”

8.     Social Media Campaigns Grow Up – Will we stop hearing the word “viral” in 2010? I doubt it, but we can hope to hear it a whole lot less. I think the social media landscape is littered with enough failed viral efforts that most sane marketers and agencies will stop thinking  that social media as “free.” There is a formula and a science to making social media efforts work. Dedicated resources, measurement of the right things, and adapting to what is learned will make social efforts more stable.

9.     Real-Time Search – This is perhaps the most “bleeding edge” of any of the trends/issues facing marketers in 2010, but I do believe it is one that can have a major impact — and very quickly. The simple fact is that as real-time search improves, so does people’s ability to get real-time, unfiltered feedback from peers on products and services. It will be much harder for brands to control or manage their reputation, as with review sites. Instead, brands will need to turn to strategies that encourage positive conversations to balance out the inevitable bad.

10.  Whatcha Got? I figured I’d leave the 10th open and hear what you all think. Drop me a line on Twitter at and/or add your thoughts to the comments on the Spin board below.”

My best wishes to everyone for a very happy new year.

Post by Nick Vehr – 12.23.09


Out with the old and in with the new.  Popular and populist, especially as it pertains to media.

The truth, though, is that many “internetistas” who think a whole new world was created with the internet are beginning to realize that knowledge of how it used to be done is quite helpful.

Some rules don’t – and, perhaps, never will – change.  Be informed and be prepared – do your homework.  Be responsive and respectful.  Be actively engaged. 

Strategic communications is about developing and maintaining relationships that are important to the enterprise. 

It’s about protecting and strengthening a brand (corporate) reputation. 

Importantly, it’s about enabling or delivering results that move the business forward.

Without question, social media (new media) has created new and faster opportunities (channels) by which to engage and interact with the relationships that matter.

Knowledge of these new and faster channels is vitally important in our Web 2.0 world. 

Of equal importance is understanding what action you desire from your target audience, what message will move your audience to action, and what you need to do to enable the action in the most deliberate, intuitive (read: easy) way.

Check out this case study on provided by the folks at Shift Communications.  Old media facilitated the launch of a new online company because everyone involved understood that the two can’t, and really shouldn’t, be viewed separately.

So, old school meets new school and strategic communications still works the way it always has – just a whole lot faster.

Post by Nick Vehr – 12.21.09

I’ve already retweeted this blog post by Todd Defren (PR Squared), but I also just had to blog about it as well.

Defren comments on the impact of the new electronic tablet readers on mainstream media.  He shares a Time Inc. video that demos how Sports Illustrated can be read in the future. 

Please go to the link above for the video (I had trouble inserting a video link – sorry!).

This is incredible stuff.  As someone who still likes to read newspapers, books and magazines, I can imagine that the experience shown on the video could change this habit, and quickly.

For those who claim newspapers are dead or dying, think of the experience of reading your daily newspaper in the format on the video and, perhaps, the proclamation of the death of newspapers is premature.

Anyway, I just had to share this video as quickly as I got my hands on it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Post by Nick Vehr – 12.4.09