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Digital marketing will get a few disruptions in the near future, according to this version of Razorfish's Digital Outlook Report.
While most of the press attention has gone to the agency's bullish outlook on social media (surprise, surprise), the warm fuzzies stopped there. Consider the following predictions from Razorfish analysts and executives:
- CEO Clark Kocich hinted that digital agencies may need to become more active within the brands they work with. "It’s not just about the work that agencies do, but rather, it’s about the actual role they should be playing in setting business strategy, designing product and service offerings, delivering service after the sale, creating innovative distribution channels and developing new revenue models," he writes in the report. "For a growing number of brands, the digital experience is becoming as important as the actual physical product."
- It did not mince words when it came to ad networks. More ad exchanges, less ad networks. Those are not brand new predictions, but the strength of the reports' words were fairly dramatic. "CPM pricing pressure and the buyer’s market mentality will only further muddy the 2009 landscape, but the battle to maintain pricing and manage inventory pools among publishers is sure to be front and center. The continued rumblings of anti-ad network sentiment by premium publishers is only going to increase pressure on the small and mid-tier ad networks to differentiate, leading to a significantly-altered and, perhaps, consolidated network landscape going into 2010."
- All is not well in Mobileland: Although mobile advertising has been a growth bright spot for most agencies, Razorfish sees some potential obstacles to that growth such as continued growth despite a heavily fragmented marketplace, a lack of true third-party adserving, and a lack of ad standrads. "Increasingly, though, big networks like AdMob, Nokia and Quattro are becoming valuable partners, capable of aggregating inventory as well as providing seamless services to help create and manage mobile campaigns."
All told, the report paints a troubled and flat digital landscape. In fact, one of the more telling quotes is this one: "A flat year would be a good outcome for digital advertising in 2009."