2009: To paraphrase Colbert, we called it.


This has been a big year of growth and change for the Lab. We’ve enjoyed the insight from our new president, John Ross, who is leading our retail practice (focused on the effect emerging media has on the purchase funnel). We’re also full steam ahead on new research capabilities and as always, our consulting work continues to provide relevant learnings.

This is also the time of the year when every news and entertainment show posts their best and worst of the year.  What the Lab’s more apt to do is take a look at some of the predictions we’ve made and see if they’re really landed.  Our 2009 Trends have taken some interesting turns:

Beyond the browser “A look at the importance of cloud computing and the evolution of the browser as the new OS or desktop. “
Chrome has certainly had it’s growth spirits this year and is poised, along with the netbook to be the mobile warrior’s answer to all they need for being connected.  Meanwhile, Android is positioning itself to lead the mobile platform.

Conversation is king
“For individuals and brands, Web presence alone is no longer enough—now it’s about engaging customers in conversation.”
From Aflac to ATT, every major brand is playing with Twitter to stay engaged with their consumer. And for some, like J&J’s Babycenter, the entire site is one large community with consumers asking for brands to interact with them and to help create better products.

Transmission effect
“Conversations and content are moving faster and spreading everywhere”
Witness the recent Tiger Woods affair (all of them 🙂 ). There is no such thing as privacy anymore when it comes to ‘brands’.  Tiger Woods’ brand will forever be affected by this last week’s car accident and the domino affect its causing.

Retail soars
“From Smart Signs and interactive mirrors to RFID and loyalty programs, retail is undergoing dramatic changes to become more interactive.”
When we wrote this in November of 2008, we sensed major shifts happening in the retail space, but we’ve only seen the beginning. The transformation continues, pushed forward by the impact mobile is having on the shopper experience.

Zen tech warrior
“The Zen Tech Warrior wants to be digitally connected, but on their terms. Conscious of their pocketbooks and the environment, they are increasingly discerning about their choice of media and technology platforms.”
We watched the Zen Tech Warrior walk into the Lab dozens of times over the past year; and indeed, all of us are exhibiting behaviors of the profile we identified in 2009…some of us cut our cable, some of us are using our smartphones to connect when and where we want to, some of us are buying products that have sustainable roots. Marketers must continue to actively engage with the Zen tech warriors throughout the coming months and years.

Reflecting all of these trends are the partners that we’ve introduced this year. They all represent pieces of the 2009 story and we hope you’ll look to them as valuable solutions providers for clients:

Navteq: Powering location based advertising, Navteq is the leader in premium-quality digital map data and content.

Social Vibe: Powering cause marketing,  Social vibe connects people with brands, empowering them to engage with sponsors and share branded content with their social graph to benefit a cause of their choice.

Total Immersion: Powering augmented reality, Total Immersion provides software that places virtual components into live video streams in real time.

TruMedia:  Powering audience measurement, TruMedia provides marketing intelligence solutions for digital out-of-home displays

Get Fugu:  Powering Mobile Retail, Get Fugu provides the next generation in mobile search, providing relevant data through a variety of integrated apps.

ZillionTV: Powering addressable advertising in television; solutions like Zillion are at the heart of changes happening in broadcast and VOD.

Thanks again to our agencies, clients, and technology partners. Have a great holiday season and a  Happy New Year.

Keep a look out for our 2010 trends and CES coverage in January.