Marketing Forecasts for 2001

Article excerpt

Key industry figures predict the trends and challenges we will face in the coming year.

Colin Lloyd, President, Direct Marketing Association

"E-mail marketing will explode next year. It represents a phenomenal market, worth, according to Jupiter, $7.3bn ([pound]5bn) by 2005.

Other areas of activity in 2001 will include electronic sales promotion. E-commerce has under-used promotion so far, and I anticipate that the SP industry will come into its own in the electronic arena.

Using text-messaging as a marketing tool will take off. SMS is a legitimate method of communication, but there is a risk it will get out of control. Our fear is that it will shoot itself in the foot before it gets going, so we're working with the wireless industry to establish an SMS Preference Service.

I won't be surprised if another major supermarket chain drops its loyalty scheme in favour of lower prices. Loyalty is an increasingly unsustainable weapon in the retail wars and will give way to more sophisticated use of electronic CRM.

On the direct marketing agency front, consolidation will open the door for more start-ups. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the biggest below-the-line agencies of 2005 are the start-ups of 2001."

Tom Blackett, Group deputy chairman, Interbrand Newell and Sorrell

"A prediction for 2001 is that Microsoft will overtake Coca-Cola as the world's biggest brand. As IT becomes more central to our lives, brands like Microsoft have an inexhaustible capacity for growth.

As we saw in Seattle and most recently Nice, there has been a backlash against 'bigness' this year. In 2001, 'brand governance' will be on everyone's lips. This means ensuring that not only products and services keep their promise, but also that employees, suppliers and shareholders are treated fairly and honestly. The internet has empowered communication to such an extent that big companies can no longer have any secrets.

If you're looking for a brand to watch in 2001, then a rising star is Plymouth Gin. Bought out of UDV by its management a few years ago, Plymouth is now a major brand in the UK and will soon go into global distribution. With the trend toward white spirits, its unique flavour and genuine heritage, Plymouth Gin is my tip for next year."

MALCOLM BARNSHAW, DIRECTOR GENERAL, ISBA

"The debate on the future of communications legislation will dominate media issues through out the year. Despite the publication of a rather 'green' White Paper last December, the debate will ignite once more after the general election in March. Legislative changes, which will alter significantly the UK media environment, will be then implemented in a Broadcasting/Communications Act, possibly before the end of the year.

A clearer picture of the future for UK media will emerge after the election and once consultations on cross-media ownership have been completed. The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) will study the competition implications for advertisers of any proposals to change media ownership rules, and will voice their views clearly in what will be an intensive debate. We will call for 0fcom, the new single regulatory body, to be given fuller authority over the BBC, and for it to have a formal 'duty of care' to advertisers enshrined within its remit. We will also be active in pursuing proposals to bring regulation of broadcast advertising into the co-regulatory arena.

Defending freedom of commercial expression will continue to be essential, both in the UK and across Europe, particularly in the areas of cars, food, financial services and products aimed at children. 2001 marks the start of the Swedish presidency of the European Union. While we no longer expect the presidency to propose immediate implementation of a pan-European ban on advertising to children, it may use the platform to further open the debate before the 2002/03 TV Without Frontiers European Directive. …