2011 uncovered

Russell Parsons

As the baubles are put back in the box, and 2010 is consigned to the history books, marketers’ attentions are turning to the year ahead and every commentator worth his or her salt has also been gazing into their crystal ball to tell the world what lies ahead. Oh go on then, if I must.

Austerity was perhaps the most ubiquitous of words at the back end of 2010 and with the spectre of public sector cuts, rising commodity prices and the VAT increase eroding consumer confidence (and the possible subsequent pressure on marketing budgets), this year will feel much the same. Creative direct mail activity, as you will all know, is well placed again to come to the fore be it as a stand alone or effectively integrated with digital channels to produce targeted, accountable campaigns. Make your case now.

Partnership, or as our Prime Minister David Cameron would have it, the “big society”, is a notion marketers need to be ready to embrace. Whether it is charity marketers producing on-ATM screen campaigns to encourage benevolence (and make up the short fall in funding), or food and drink makers and retailers that sign up to the Government’s responsibility agreement or the Change4Life swapathon, brands would be wise to get on board. The consequences for inaction? Regulation and being cast from responsible corporate society. Marketers remember, we are all in this together.

Thirdly, 2011 will be the year that data stops being seen as the ugly duckling of the marketing badling (you’ll have to Google it). No less an authority than Sir Martin Sorrell proclaimed just before the festive season that data would be both lucrative and intrinsic to the marketing process, and really, who are we to argue? With the rise of advertising platforms such as Apple’s iAd promising unprecedented targeting opportunities, all other channels must raise their game and quality data is the only way to ensure than activity arrives in the right letter box, in-box or mobile. Data has been crowned king.

Have a happy and successful 2011.

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