Razorfish has released their sixth annual Razorfish Outlook Report, identifying and evaluating key trends affecting chief marketing officers – and everyone in the marketing and advertising industry, really. While in prior years, the focus may have been on a “digital” outlook, this year’s report insinuates that digital is an integral part of marketing, advertising and business in general – and shouldn’t be classified any differently.
The report draws upon essays from thought leaders, as well as an analysis of Razorfish clients’ media spend in 2009. While the full report is worth the read, covering topics like publishers to watch, examples of how to become a social brand, the ad exchange ecosystem and performance metrics – we’ve culled some key insights, and most surprising points – below;
* Innovation pays dividends (particularly during a recovery): Indicating signs of a recovery, Razorfish clients increased their media spend by 4 percent in 2009 versus a 13 percent drop in 2008. Razorfish cites that brands that invested in innovation during the recession – including MillerCoors with the cold-activated can, and Mercedes-Benz USA with the launch of the E-Class sedan – will fully benefit from the turnaround, while those that didn’t innovate will now have to play catch-up to competitors that made a down-market investment.
* Recessions are also a time for experimentation: Several Razorfish clients invested in new digital media platforms for the first time in 2009. The most popular channels for experimentation in 2009 included data brokers, digital out-of-home, and ad exchanges.
* Your SIM score – how a brand ranks in Social Influence Marketing – is your new brand health metric; both on and beyond the social web.
* Customizing to the masses: Progressively shifting above-the-line (ATL) budgets to 1:1 channels – like mobile phones and tablets – can double media efficiency at scale.
* Measuring what matters: We know brands/clients love data – the challenge is in collaborating to determine exactly which metrics a brand can realistically act on. Razorfish recommends implementing a RACI chart – to identify metrics that will ultimately ensure a brand is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.
* Social media is less a form of “media” – and more a marketing and public relations imperative: Given the low cost of purchasing social ads, social media garnered only 4 percent of marketers’ media spend. The larger cost driver of social media lies in labor costs – which aren’t tracked as media spend.
* Increased Competition for Google: About 45 percent of Razorfish clients’ media spend in 2009 was invested into portals and search – with Google still the lead. However, Razorfish expects the combination of Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! to challenge Google’s dominance.
* Think and act small – or local – is an insight and theme discussed at the last PSFK Conference in NY. It is echoed by Razorfish, citing that many clients are learning to do this as they grow globally – vs. the status quo notion of “thinking globally and acting locally”. Providing additional context, David Deal, vp of marketing for Razorfish, adds:
Global marketers need to immerse themselves in the increasingly sophisticated and fragmented micromarkets around the world — thinking and acting locally several times over if you will. For instance, Razorfish Strategy Executive Joe Crump contributes a tantalizing point of view on Brazil, an increasingly powerful and digitally savvy market crucial to global players like Nike. Joe discusses “Classe C,” an increasingly upwardly mobile economic cluster of 70 million people who are shaping the future of Brazil. Joe asserts that the digitally savvy Classe C has rapidly made Brazil too important for any serious marketer to ignore. Joe is now launching research into Classe C that will be unveiled later in 2010.
For those of you that need to visualize your data, a compilation of charts and graphs from Razorfish’s report can be found here...PSFK