Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mindsalt Magic '09 Ball Predictions

If 2008 was the year of turbulence, 2009 looks to be the year of trepidation.

To help cope with this uncertainty, Mindsalt introduces the Magic ‘09 Ball. Give it a shake and you’ll see our predictions for what will drive marketing, business and design in the coming year. We also invite you to add your own predictions for 2009.

Now, if only the Magic ‘09 Ball provided stock picks.

Checkout the Magic ’09 Ball here.

We've also included our predictions for this year below.

Happy New Year.

- Josh

Mindsalt’s ’09 predictions:

Honesty & simplicity drive consumer decisions.
2008 was a year of mixed messages. From politics to business, consumers are being bombarded from all sides with broad claims of little substance. In 2009, clarity will be key. Clear messages served up in simple, creative ways will be essential to building and maintaining trust with consumers.

Time-snippets replace time-slots.

Attention is the biggest hurdle for marketers to overcome. No longer do we carve out specific time for watching TV, reading the newspaper, or even surfing the web. We grab snippets of media throughout the day, 2 minutes here, 20 minutes there. Brands that are able to engage their consumers in short burst are the ones that will get the attention.

Action is essential
To take a line from FDR, during these uncertain times "we need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary… but above all, (to) try something.” 2009 is a time for 'bold, persistent experimentation' both in business and marketing.

Expert jockeying becomes a pro sport
Social media has paved the way to make anyone a so called ‘expert.’ This new focus on personal branding will become much more competitive as the overrun of job seekers saturates the already diluted marketplace. What this means is that individuals and businesses will need to do a much better job in positioning themselves as authentic and credible.

Employees become your best marketing asset.
Businesses are all struggling to create strong advocates for their brands, however, the best consumer advocates are actually all around you – your employees. Everyone in your organization is an ambassador of your brand. To create a word of mouth program, start by giving your employees something to talk about.

Businesses must give first.
To get attention in 2009, businesses must give something away first. Now we don’t mean for all businesses to go out and buy stress balls for their customers. We mean that businesses must deliver value prior to a sale through some means of education, entertainment or sample that reflects your business’ product or service offering.

Consumer insight still reigns supreme.
Your business can no longer be all things to all people. In 2009 you must focus on being the right thing to the right person. This starts by engaging your customers and finding out how their needs are changing and focusing your messaging so you are communicating with them on a more intimate level.

Your brand’s story will only matter more.
In 2009, wallets will remain closed for the most part. The meaning behind those fewer purchases will therefore become that much more important. Businesses will have to bring greater purpose to their brands and communicate it in ways that become relevant to their consumers.