Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Sky Is Falling? Been there, done that

Recently reported by, the analyst at Blackfriars Communications are predicting a bleak year for US marketers...the article said:

"Marketing has struggled because of bad weather and higher fuel prices over the past twelve months," said Carl Howe of Blackfriars.

A key finding of the survey — of 317 senior business executives across the country — was that advertising spending fell to $218 billion this year, of which $38 billion was online advertising.

We thought it might be fun to revisit some other predictions.

The one that sprang to mind first was that the weather gurus at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this year predicted 2006 would be something like the worst hurricane season in 100 years? (Ok, in NOAA speak it was the “2006 is forecast to be the tenth above-normal season in the last twelve years.”) On August 8, 2006 NOAA released a statement saying the 2006 season is expected to be “slightly less active than previously forecast.”

Other predictions gone bad:

Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility--a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.- Lee de Forest, 1926, inventor of the cathode ray tubeI think there is a world market for maybe five computers. - Thomas J. Watson, 1943, Chairman of the Board of IBM

640K ought to be enough for anybody.- Bill Gates, 1981

With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.- Business Week, 1958

So where does this leave us? Well we like the folks at Blackfriars but are not 100 percent sure their marketing spending predictions are on the mark. From what we have seen this report is based mostly on tradition and online ad spending. These are indicators that are not nearly as accurate as they use to be in the marketing world.

Today emerging media like podcasting, blogs and wikis are creeping into the marketing mix. In addition, public relations, stakeholder communications, experiential marketing and even event marketing all have a great impact on marketing dollars and efforts then ever before.

That leads us to believe the sky is not falling…but that’s just a prediction (but one we hope stands the test of time).


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