Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The end of the Internet Part 2

I joined the digital world in the late 90's: Razorfish, Dot-com's, bubbles, layoffs, etc. Exciting, nerve-wrecking, sleepless times. One afternoon in 2001, I 'surfed' the Web and suddenly had the realization that everything on the Web was boring. It felt so stale, nothing new happened, no innovation just pure stagnation. It felt like I had reached the end of the Internet. I shut down the computer, opened a book, listened to radio and watched TV. End of Part 1.

Fast forward 6 years. Part 2.
We're on the brink of a recession, traditional media spend growth will slow, digital advertising spend will increase dramatically and social media is the new, new, new thing.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Not really.

Sure, more and more brand are moving money to digital agencies but I don't really see innovation. Most of the transferred money will end up on search engines and portals, some of it on MySpace and Facebook. But, where's the innovation?

Where are the ideas and campaigns that utilize communication tools such as Twitter? How can we create experiences on Jaiku and Seesmic? Where are the digitally integrated campaigns that utilize all the tools Web 2.0 users are working with each and every day?

The window of opportunity is wide open: Brands have tired of print and TV, they look for digital marketing to save the day. As providers for marketing solutions, we need to be prepared for this dramatic shift in spend. If we don't innovate and offer new models to connect with and engage people, brands will quickly tire of digital marketing and move on. We have to find new ways to spend money, new places to engage people, new methods to converse with people.

Recessions are scary times. People tend to act more conservatively, tend to regress to known and stay away from the unknown. One failed campaign can mean a financial disaster, restructuring and/or, ultimately, the loss of a job. Your job.

The window of opportunity is wide open but it will be closing. Fast.
One day, your client will sit in front of you and ask you: 'What have you done for me lately?' If your answer will be filled with words like SEM, SEO, portals, reach, CTR, engagement, you better shut up and let silence speak for you.

The time to innovate is now. All of us have to save the day because now is the time to develop integrated, digital models. New ideas.

Are you ready to save the day?

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