Razorfish releases their 2009 Digital Outlook Report

With their annual report, Razorfish, the “agency for marketing, experience and enterprise design” shares their perspective on the year ahead in digital media. At 160 pages, along with their trend predictions for the year, the report is packed with information on how digital ad spending was allocated for Razorfish clients in 2008. Here are some of my favorite highlights from the report:

  • Social advertising will grow up.
    Display advertising in the broader Web, too, will become more social, as linking display advertising to forms of social marketing — like blogger outreach, social credits, engagement programs and widgets that let you mix in your own content— become more important. However, there are no guarantees that this will be completely figured out within the course of the year.
  • Social influence research will become more important than social measurement.
    Do you want to know how? By focusing on meaning rather than measurement. To think in terms of social as a channel that should be measured like TV, print, radio or digital is missing the point. Instead, the greatest value in social for marketers will be in the real-time insights it provides. Razorfish calls this Social Influence Research and it is going to drive marketing campaigns, product development and customer service programs. There will be an evolution from measuring sentiment to understanding opinion and synchronizing it with the Net Promoter scores. Why? Because marketers care about opinion much more than they do about sentiment.
  • Emerging media will not kill advertising but change it forever.
    The digitization of media has empowered people with complete control over their media consumption; they are able to watch, read or listen to whatever they want whenever they want, and that typically includes advertising. Efforts to force attention to ads without providing value will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, challenging traditional ad models.

    Digital is impacting more than what you might typically describe as “media” — it has created entirely new channels and continues to radically blur the line between the real and the virtual worlds. New, immersive experiences leveraging incredible human-computer interaction models have leaped from the pages of science fiction novels and become reality. Taken together, these trends are NOT killing advertising. They are simply changing its role. According to the report, advertising is now less about reach and less about changing attitudes but about more engaging experiences, which leverage new digital capabilities to deliver value to the audiences that interact with them. It’s about marketer making themselves useful, plain and simple.