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Today I’m going to live up to my tagline and do exactly that, taking a look back at the marketing trends that mattered in 2008, and what’s to come in 2009.

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Hey Everyone… Christmas is just days away for me so I’m going to crank out a quick top 10 list before I head home for the holidays. I’ll give you the marketing trend that mattered this year, how that trend could evolve in 2009, and the podcast episode to go back and listen to that covered the topic. Let’s roll.

10. Customer Service
2008: I recently saw Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay), CEO of Zappos.com, speak about customer service. He said that most customer service call centers are rewarded on how quickly they get the customer off the phone. He puts his 800 number at the top of every page, and viewing each call as an incredible 5-10 minute, uninterrupted branding opportunity to bond with his customers. Hear hear.
2009: I think companies are starting to get it. I recently had two stellar customer service experiences with Amazon.com and AT&T, and even companies like Comcast are taking notice.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 31, Ritz-Carlton service at a Red Roof price – why Japan is king of customer service.

9. Advertising smarter
2008: Reality TV… gossip websites … celebrity magazines … over-the-top news programs … are companies tired yet of contributing to the dumbing down of America and advertising to the lowest common denominator?
2009: Aim higher. Of course we’d like you to advertise on Wired, but when every dollar counts, shouldn’t most companies try to reach the most intelligent, educated consumer?
Podcast to listen to: Episode 14: Interview with Julia Allison – Queen of self-promotion, lightning rod for publicity, Wired cover story

8. Going Green
2008: Gotta go green. What’s your carbon footprint? I hope that paper’s recycled. I hear you’re thinking about getting a Prius. You bring your own canvas bags to the grocery story, right? Is that a bottled water?
2009: More more more more. I know it’s the right thing to do, but I’m sensing a slight backlash. What do I mean? Go to the McDonalds web site. You’ll see photos of salads and water and wraps and apples slices. Now go to the Carl’s Jr website. Check out the Guacamole Bacon Six Dollar Burger. 1140 calories. 85 grams of fat. THAT kind of backlash.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 35: What Japanese toilets taught me about the auto industry.

7. Mac Vs. PC
2008: This year saw huge gains for the Mac and Vista getting pummeled.
2009: Microsoft is fighting back with their own ads, I think smaller and smaller laptops are going to make huge inroads, the next Windows release is getting hyped, and Steve Jobs won’t attend the last Macworld conference. Does it ever get old following this story?
Podcast to listen to: Episode 8 and 24: Ad Campaign Showdown – Apple vs. Microsoft, Round 1 and Round 2.

6. Facebook
2008: I was referencing a report I did from February, which talked about Facebook’s 65 million users. That number is now 140 million.
2009: The story is the same as it’s always been. You’ve got the eyeballs. How do you monetize?
Podcast to listen to: Episode 21: 10 Things I taught my interns.

MySpace dominates social media

5. MySpace
2008: I hate MySpace. It’s old. It’s clunky. It’s so last year. It’s done.
2009: Then I saw a share of visits chart [Credit: www.marketingcharts.com]
Podcast to listen to: Episode 17: DJ Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk: The Music, The Model, The Mitigation

4. The Recession
2008: In Episode 29, I almost went contradictory, saying that the recession was being overblown. That people were still spending money. That at least in New York, I personally wasn’t seeing the signs that other parts of the country saw. But I dialed it back. That was on November 5.
2009: Then a few weeks later, the layoffs hit my company. On both coasts. And then it seemed the stories rolled in daily. And budget cuts. But traditionally, strong brands survive  – and often gain market share – in a bad economy. We’ll be watching every industry.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 29: Live on the streets of New York – 5 optimistic tales of the recession.

3. Twitter
2008: Back to Zappos. Every employee is encouraged to use Twitter. The 2 rules they are told? 1) Be yourself. 2) Use your best judgement.
2009: More people twittering. More stories. More hype. More users. Today I read an article of a man that Twittered a plane crash he was in. I foresee more stories like this.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 11: Twitterer-in-Chief … How social media is changing politics.

2. Video
2008: It’s growing and growing and growing. HD is commonplace. Companies are starting to get it. Ad models are evolving. YouTube. Vimeo. Hulu. Joost. iTunes.
2009: It’s growing and growing and growing.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 34: The Hyper-Influencer … Word-of-mouth marketing mavens using social media to influence sales.

1. iPhone
2008: The iPhone 3G was unleashed on the world to unbelievable hype on July 11. It was faster. It was cheaper. There was GPS. There were shortages. There were lines. There were call problems.
2009: But I’m going to tell you folks, the most important thing to come out of Cupertino that day was the App Store. That will be the game changer in 2009. Wait till you hear my first guest next year.
Podcast to listen to: Episode 01: Porsche vs. iPhone

Thanks for listening all year, and special shoutout to my super intern Anuja Shah, whose last day is this week. She has a great future ahead of her. Happy Holidays all.

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