Blog

From the Trenches

Prediction: Marketers Will Publish Lots of Lists in 2010

Mike Sweeney | December 17, 2009

I used to love lists.  I have been a card-carrying list maker since 1980.  I still prefer a good pen-and-paper list on a notepad to a Word doc, wiki, or whiteboard.

List-makers used to be somewhat unique, and kind of freaky types.  Now, everyone makes lists.  People Magazine publishes the Most Beautiful People list.  ESPN publishes the Top Athletes of the Century list.  Less known publishers distribute some really fascinating material, like the 50 Best SEO Blog Posts of 2009 or the Top 10 Most Important Tweets of 2009.

I am taking a stance against lists, if only for about one week.  My only prediction for 2010 is this: marketers will publish lots of lists in 2010.  They will do this (and the “they” includes me) because:

  • Everyone loves a good list
  • Everyone loves predictions
  • Everyone loves being right

However, I will use this post to comment on the lists that have already been published.  I used this magical tool (and it is a tool, and just a tool) called Twitter to pull down a search of 2010 marketing prediction lists.  Not unlike holiday shopping or holiday greeting cards, the 2010 predictions lists start earlier every year.  If I weren’t taking a break from lists for a week, I’d just go ahead and write my 2011 marketing predictions now to get ahead of everyone else.

So after reading 6 or 7 2010 marketing prediction lists, here are some predictions I agree with and disagree with:

Robert Scoble offers that 2010 may be the year that search engine optimization (SEO) becomes far less important.

I DISAGREE. I completely understand Robert’s premise, and his brief reasoning makes sense.  I happen to think SEO is more important than ever, given the massive growth of social media and new integration between social media and search.  SEO has simply become a more complex issue, but it remains one of the most important components of a marketing plan.

Rand Fishkin tells us that SEO spending will increase dramatically in 2010.

I AGREE, but with a qualifier.  I think SEO warrants a spending increase, but I am not sure it will be “dramatic” in 2010.  Now, if we were to include in that spend the elements of social media that impact SEO, perhaps we’d be talking “dramatic”.

Seth Godin predicts “A lot of people (who were only wasting time at work, not investing in an asset) will lose interest in Twitter as the next shiny thing comes along.”

I AGREE. Twitter’s value – if used correctly for business purposes – is indisputable.  However, as I stated in an earlier post on social media overcrowding, the major social media properties tend to lose some business value as the “wasting time” portion of the Early Adopters get bored and the Late Majority floods in.  That typically means a certain portion of current Twitter evangelists will disappear and latch on to one of the 200 – 300 social media properties that are set to launch in the next few months.

eMarketer thinks that Mobile Commerce’s Time Has Arrived.

I DISAGREE. eMarketer was very safe with this one.  How can anyone disprove whether mobile commerce’s time has indeed “arrived”.  That’s like trying to disprove Mel Kiper when he tells us an NFL draft pick has “tons of upside”.   My disagreement is simple: almost every mobile commerce application I’ve seen is clunky.  I want to be proven wrong here, but I just haven’t seen applications that take advantage of the all the unique characteristics of a mobile device.

David Siteman says big brands will learn from entrepreneurs, small businesses and niche businesses.

I AGREE. It’s already happening.  I love David’s explanation, so we’ll just use that:

Also, without a team of lawyers, accountants and a 224.3 person Board Of Directors, entrepreneurs move quickly, fail fast, recover faster, and try something else. One idea for a blog doesn’t work? Try another. One idea to draw traffic or sell a product doesn’t work? Try another.

These elements of cheap, fast and experimental  are going to finally catch the attention of big brands in 2010. Instead of ignoring the little guys, a painful realization to many larger companies when 2009 ripped apart their business, is going to lead to entrepreneurs being a trusted resource and strong case studies.

Steve Parker calls for 2010 to be the year when the practice of allowing sales and marketing to operate as separate, conflicting silos ends once and for all.

I DISAGREE. I want to believe this one.  Steve makes a good case for why this should happen.  I also make that case on a daily basis to clients.  I just don’t see it happening as quickly as it ought to.

Steve Woods says that as data becomes more and more available and less costly, the value of an actual relationship will increase.

I AGREE. We’re all marketers now, regardless of department or function.  We’re all using social media.  We’re all looking at dashboards and customer data.  What separates you from the next guy or gal that has access to all the same tools and data as you do?  A solid, good old-fashioned relationship.

I sincerely appreciate the time each author used to put together their predictions.  If I were as insightful as these guys, I would have put together my own.  Instead, I offer once again my only prediction for 2010: marketers will continue to publish (lots of) lists.  I can put a 100% guarantee on that one.

Related Posts:

  • Man considering options
    Mike Sweeney | July 18, 2013

    5 Types of Content That Deserve More Attention

    Content marketing is not a marketing tactic. It’s not SEO. It’s not email marketing. It’s simply…bigger than all that. It’s an all-encompassing approach to how you handle your entire marketing mix, and a strategy that should be embraced by your whole company. Better put….you can’t really do any type of marketing without some form of […] read more

  • Herculean Content Efforts How to Mount Them and Succeed
    Yvonne Lyons | April 23, 2015

    Herculean Content Efforts: How to Mount Them and Succeed

    Someone in your organization has come up with the idea that you could really put your company on the map with a content sprint. A large-scale content effort mounted in a relatively short period of time. This would be great, right? You could produce maybe two or three blog posts a week, a weekly eBook, […] read more

  • How to Distinguish the Journalist from the Content Marketing Writer
    Yvonne Lyons | January 23, 2014

    How to Distinguish the Journalist from the Content Marketing Writer

    Not long ago, I wrote a post on what content marketing writers can learn from journalists. Good content marketing writers will always do well to take some lessons from journalists, because much of what we do now is true reporting and storytelling — skills that the journalist has honed during his or her career. And […] read more