Adam Froman cautiously optimistic as ’07 ends

Yet the president/CEO of Toronto-based Delvinia Interactive sees the possibility of a recession down south as a looming threat up here.

Today’s year-end pundit – Adam Froman, president/CEO of Toronto-based Delvinia Interactive – says his agency is ‘looking forward to 2008 with excitement and cautious optimism. As long as our economy holds, 2008 should be an exciting year for both our company and the digital industry in Canada.’

MiC: What were some of the big trends during the past year?

‘What trend didn’t occur in 2007? From the mediasphere chaos to the continued integration of various media platforms, the growth in local marketing campaigns and programs, a greater focus on the customer experience, online and digital video, emerging digital devices (Wii, iPhone, etc.), WOM and viral marketing, conversational marketing – and one very near and dear to my heart: innovation. But by far the greatest trend that will lead us into 2008 was the focus on behavioural marketing.’

MiC: What surprised you in 2007?

‘That Microsoft paid US$240 million for 1.6% of Facebook!’

MiC: What happened that you applaud?

‘More and more organizations are walking the walk and demonstrating that they are focused on the customer experience. And, particularly from Delvinia’s perspective, a realization that the digital customer experience is an important part of the total customer experience.’

MiC: What happened that dismayed or worried you?

‘A growing gap between those who understand the new digital and emerging media platforms and those who don’t. Also, finding qualified talent who truly understand the digital medium and are worth the money they’re asking to be paid.’

MiC: What trends or issues are you spying on the horizon?

‘The ability to understand the behaviours of consumers and translate them into measurable strategies and campaigns, which I feel will dominate 2008.’

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

‘At Delvinia, we are focused on creating the tools to understand digital behaviours, and this ability will be the great differentiator in 2008. From a media perspective, I think we’ll see true platform and media integration. Whether it’s online, television or mobile, reaching the right consumer with the right message on the right device will be the goal everyone is chasing.’

MiC: What’s the next big looming threat?

‘The strong possibility of a US recession. Although I try to keep it at the back of my mind, I am concerned about the state of the global economy. If a downturn occurs, it will affect us all. However, since Delvinia is strongly entrenched in the digital space, we should be able to manage. Spending on digital initiatives continues to be strong, which is a real change from 2001, the last time we felt this much economic uncertainty.

‘I think that everyone is watching closely how consumers are spending this holiday season, and holding their breath to see what happens in the financial markets in January.’