This Was a Transitional Year

In retrospect we may see 2009 as a kind of critical transitional year for advertising and media as well as the Internet and mobile. I’ve argued 2009 is/was the long-awaited “year of mobile.” 

Here’s what I said at the end of last year about what would happen this year:

  1. The one big trend is mobile. The Internet gets much more mobile with millions more routinely accessing content, social networks, etc. “on the go.” There are more laptops now than desktops and netbooks are selling very well. There will also be a range of interesting new connected mobile devices. All of these developments have a range of implications for site design, business models and location awareness. Absolutely everyone in the local segment needs to mobilize now or in 2009. This is all real — right now.
  2. Beyond mobile, desktop location awareness is much more pervasiveBrowser, OS, etc.
  3. The “inventory product infrastructure” becomes more widespread and this has major mobile implications too.
  4. I would also say that 2009 will be a very interesting year for traditional TV. Nielsen says that TV viewing is at an all time high but TV “engagement” is not. Younger people are not watching as much TV and are much more engaged with the Internet and mobile. (I was  on a ski lift this week with a 20something texting as he rode up the mountain). When the “digital switch” happens in February in the US, there may be several million people caught off guard. It’s the TV industry’s “Y2K moment.” Some people may simply walk away from conventional TV.
  • Other than that there will be M&A activity . . . and many startups don’t survive.
  • All the SMB marketing migration will continue: video and online marketing adoption, etc. But no big breakthroughs will happen; it’s all incremental growth.
  • Print media including newspapers and yellow pages continue to suffer and see usage losses.

What are some other things that happened that you think were significant or will in time prove to be significant? All the Google local initiatives: 10 Pack, 7 Pack, Local Listing Ads I would throw in as significant developments for the local segment in particular this past year.

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