It's December. Time for pseudo-snow to uphold the pretence of a white Christmas. Time for Christmas pop songs to replenish the coffers of faded pop idols. And, of course, time for reflections on the year.
The biggest trends in marketing communications in 2007 were without a doubt the rise and rise of social networks, and the associated dominance of video content – professional and user-generated. Not a theme ignored on MarCom Professional I can see.
This has been a subject close to our hearts since we ran the first blog training course for our clients in 2001 and introduced them to conversational PR not long after. That was the term we used then, but now we talk about the brand as the sum of the quality of its dialogue with its stakeholders, and our Chairman Larry Weber decided, rightly, that 2007 was the year the mass market wanted to read more about it.
A post by Graham Jones (Internet Psychologist) on MarCom Professional raises a new perspective… Social Networks aren’t just a new way to engage with stakeholders, they actually represent a new person-to-person communication media that replaces more traditional methods such as email.
The first prediction for 2007 we made back in January, under the heading “Web 2.0”, was massive growth in social networks. We thought Myspace growth would level off (that’s active users not the irrelevant “accounts”), but that the action would move to the next big thing.
Whilst stats for Myspace are too few and far between to confirm numbers precisely, the consensus appears to be that it has grown this year, but Facebook has grown considerably faster. If Friendster lost its way to Myspace, and Myspace risks losing its way to Facebook (and Bebo), what exactly does Facebook need to do to lock its value in? “Facebook is a Beacon for Bad PR” highlights what they shouldn’t be doing!
We also anticipated 2007 being the year for mobile VoIP. Last week’s Economist has a super article giving a run down on everything that’s happened this year, not least of which is the partnership of Skype and 3, and the big noise about Google’s Android.
We got some things wrong, but we did anticipate the poor reception of Vista, the continued rise of Firefox, the bumper year for BI (business intelligence) and the struggles for Digg.
Did I say we got some things wrong? Surely what I meant was that we were just a little early in our predictions :-). Watch this space for our foolhardy stab at predicting 2008.