MiC‘s year-end pundit du jour: Laura Gaggi

One of the things that worries the president of Gaggi Media Communications is 'the great chasm between those who believe in the power of online advertising and those who don't.'

Laura Gaggi, president of Toronto-based Gaggi Media Communications, shares a lot of provocative thoughts with MiC readers today.

MiC: What major trends did you see in ’07?

‘Some that media communications people could not ignore were: online advertising topping $1 billion; the mainstreaming of social networking and user-generated content along with the media opportunities that came with this growth; our tremendous choice of new digital media opportunities; the blurring of boundaries between media, creative and digital marketing communications; and marketers’ need for bigger/better/faster solutions with less money, more media options and less ‘think-time.”

MiC: What happened this year that surprised you?

‘The sale of Standard Broadcasting, Alliance Atlantis and CHUM and how quiet some of our Canadian media industry leaders have been about the Internet and its viability as a critical component of a media advertising plan.’

MiC: What dismayed or worried you?

‘The great chasm between those who believe in the power of online advertising and those who don’t; the rapid decline of traditional television budgets to online solutions (in Cannes, if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times: ‘We decided to do an online campaign for $100K instead of a media campaign for $XX millions’); the continued high costs of television production; the lack of commitment by marketers to target Baby Boomers – the largest and wealthiest demographic cohort in Canada; 80% of targets still being 25-54 despite the fragmentation explosion; and no one has enough ‘think-time’ anymore.’

MiC: What do you see as the major issues and opportunities in ’08?

‘Agencies must get serious about reinventing themselves and their partnerships and put a stake in the ground about where they stand with their digital media offerings – and ROI for traditional media – or they will continue to see their revenues decline;

‘The expanding role of media agencies to be more strategic, innovative and creative sources of idea generation as a result of their access to market/media research, continued fragmentation explosion and media effectiveness against mass demographics;

‘Efficacy of new media applications. New media will become even more mainstream and risk tolerance may be higher for marketers. Marketers must foster a collaborative environment for the various marketing communication service providers in order to build effective, synergistic and integrated campaigns.’