Boot looks back and forward

MiC's first pundit of '08 is Sunni Boot, president/CEO of ZenithOptimedia, who predicts that 'Continued pressure and competition for consumer share of mind will change our marketing world, our success metrics and our vocabulary.'

Sunni Boot, president/CEO of ZenithOptimedia, kicks off the new year with some provocative thoughts about the year that was and the one that’s just begun.

MiC: What were some of ’07′s big trends?

‘Evolving technology continued to transform our society and to blur the roles of media and marketing. Digital is morphing media formats and providing far greater opportunities to converse with our targets, (but) consumers do not compartmentalize platforms and neither can we.’

MiC: What happened last year that dismayed or worried you?

‘Consolidation and concentration in our industry. While we recognize that this is in keeping with global trends – and necessary to manage costs and content development – simply put, as a buyer of media, having fewer sellers is not ideal. As well, while we applaud the advance of digital, we recognize that its advance further challenges advertising placement.’

MiC: For ’08, what trends or issues are you spying on the horizon?

’1. The move to digital will have considerable effects on our business. Next year, we predict digital penetration at 58%, and we see the following effects: Content will no longer be the domain of studios and networks, and there will be an increase in blogs and consumer-generated content. Meanwhile, digital will continue to feed our on-demand culture, further challenging strategies that involve precision timing and geography. As well, digital devices will permit consumers to manipulate content. Bottom line: Digital permits 360° conversations with communities and individuals, providing the desired opportunity for heightened engagement.

’2. There will be an increase in wireless and handheld devices, challenging content providers and marketers to tailor messages.

’3. Content will remain king.’

MiC: What do you see as the next big opportunity?

‘Recognizing that technology will continue to drive new innovation, we will experiment with completely new communications forms – gaming, mobile, digital signage – as part of the overall portfolio.’

MiC: What’s the next big looming threat?

‘Continued pressure and competition for consumer share of mind will change our marketing world, our success metrics and our vocabulary. Today, we acknowledge that consumers are looking for brand experience, and that requires us to set a media agenda driven by consumer insights. We will need to provide strategic platforms that support both the insights and the brand positioning through relevant media channels that run the gamut of traditional to experiential.’