Do or die list

We don't have an in-house Nostradamus. So we asked some industry heavyweights to predict what will matter to marketers in 2008. From consumers' online content consumption to which agencies will be calling the shots, here are the forecasts you'd best not ignore.

We don’t have an in-house Nostradamus. So we asked some industry heavyweights to predict what will matter to marketers in 2008. From consumers’ online content consumption to which agencies will be calling the shots, here are the forecasts you’d best not ignore.

1. Cyber content – video discovery engines and sophisticated mobile browsers

Sure, YouTube is fun. But it’s not the only online video source. Technophiles have already adopted video discovery engines, which let them flip through content from various different websites that they can then rate. The content with the most positive ratings appears first. Simon Assaad, co-CEO of

New York-based Heavy.com, predicts that such engines are about to hit the mainstream: ‘What will become huge in 2008 are video discovery engines like StumbleUpon – it’s like channel surfing on a larger scale, without the remote control.’

Mitch Joel, president of Montreal-based Twist Image, says the iPhone is poised to create a new content channel: Wi-Fi mobile content for a device far more sophisticated than traditional, more limited mobile browsers. ‘It’s going to be a huge game changer,’ says Joel.

2. Digital domination – interactive shops may soon rule the ad world

Last year, media agencies got all the hype, and a better spot at the

strategic-planning table. This year, they’re going to have some serious

competition from their interactive counterparts. Some food for thought from

Frank Palmer, chairman and CEO, DDB Canada: ‘More digital shops will lead the way in planning complete communication programs for clients. Why? Because they get it! The old traditional advertising shops are good at mass advertising

and brand-building, but most often come up short at creating value. Once in a

while they get lucky with a web idea, but not often. Also watch in the coming

years for more traditional shops being led by digitally trained CEOs.’

3. Cause du jour – ‘Blue is the new green’

Eco-mania isn’t going anywhere just yet, but the environmental movement may get a bit more segmented. Smart marketers should allot some social spending to water conservation-related causes, which noted trendspotter Marian Salzman, EVP/CMO at New York-based JWT Worldwide, predicts will become the next big conscientious craze in the near future. ‘From the 1980s onward, green has symbolized the embrace of jungles and wetlands and owls and dolphins as well as people. But even green has started to feel too limited. It’s now a subset of blue, which is coming to denote the much larger emerging new spirit of good-citizen ethics,’ she says. ‘Environmentally, blue (denoting water) is becoming as big an issue as green (forests). The era of apparently limitless clean water supplies is ending.’