Scoring my 2009 predictions

Here were my predictions for 2009 and my self assessment:

1)  Strategy, design and communications businesses will fare better than advertising and PR.  (Duh)

100%.  Not much of a prediction perhaps…

2)  The new must have / bling thing will be exclusivity — that will be the thing — invitation-only music sites, for example.  Fewer, quality things in our lives.

75%.  I think this prediction was about a year ahead of its time what with the recession.  However, there is ample evidence that this trend will accelerate – look at the American Express Platinum Card campaign.

3)  Similarly, Luxury brands will have to go ever more bespoke and tailored. 

95%. 5-point deduction since this actually wasn’t just about Luxury brands; all good consumer brands headed this way.

4)  Similarly, social media sites will see ever more exclusive and bespoke content.  “Discoverability” will emerge as a common term. Pull communication will disrupt old models.

50%.  Social Media is still in its adolescent-broadcast “look at me me me” phase, but it’s getting there.

5)  HR and Marketing will solidify ownership of the employee engagement and brand engagement space, and will more likely co-opt corporate comms/corporate affairs than the IC community

75%. The economy had an affect here as well, but IC seems to be wandering in the wilderness, at least in my experience, deeping its content and channel focus and growing ever less strategic.

6) Large multinationals will embrace employer brand and EVP efforts as a way to cut through attraction noise; but smaller (still big) companies will question how this differs from the behaviour touch point of their corporate brand.  Smart multinationals could well head this way too. 

75%.  Again, in my experience this was bang on, but I’m really a small universe.  Most companies definitely are getting it.

7) At the same time, consolidation of internal communications around brand and HR issues — driven by marketing and HR, see 4, above — will expand dramatically, with actual process changes emerging rather than just communication about issues/processes.

0%.  Nope.  Recession killed this one.

8) Mobile.  Bigger and more present than ever; my new laptop has a bloody SIM card in it! Unlimited data! Slow, maybe; cool – very.

100%.  iPhone etc.  Again, maybe not much of a prediction on hindsight.

9) Astronomers will uncover our first ever evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe.

Startlingly, I’d give myself a 50% here.  There was a MASSIVE increase in the discovery of extraterrestrial planets, making it a statistical near probability that there is life out there.  Though we will probably never know it exists.

10) Greenwashing on a major scale will be uncovered across at least 3 Fortune 100 companies, wiping billions (more) in brand value off their balance sheets.

10%.  Thanks to Copenhagen.


6 thoughts on “Scoring my 2009 predictions

  1. Hi Kevin. Not bad given that pesky recession. Happy New Year. “IC seems to be wandering in the wilderness, at least in my experience, deepening its content and channel focus and growing ever less strategic.” Agree with an emphasis on channel focus. I think the recession and social media have both conspired to keep IC teams focused on reacting and responding. Ditto #7 although I didn’t quite understand your last sentence. I haven’t seen any substantive change in the way IC does things. And I think the alignment of HR/Brand Marketing/IC still has a very long way to go. So, how to get out of this rut? What’s missing?

    Deborah HInton

  2. Thanks for the comment. What I meant in #7 was where policies actually are changed / enhanced as a result of good communication thinking as opposed to simply being the content we communicate (for example, new brand value of “simplicity” meets nightmarishly complex competency framework and framework is simplified as a result).

    To get out of this rut? Hey, see


  3. Well, the ones that work with me do 😉

    … because differentiating yourself as an employer attracts and retains the right, best talent, which means reduced turnover, fewer unfilled vacancies, reduced recruiting spend (agency fees, processing, advertising), fewer “bad hires”, and generally higher productivity, brand advocacy and reduced absenteeism. And a partridge in a pear tree.

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