11 Internet Marketing Trends to Ignore for 2008

Ian Lurie

Sure, I could try to predict what’ll work in 2008. But I’ll point to things like great marketing copy, audience measurement and analytics, your eyes will roll back in your head and my subscriber count will fall even further.
It’s much more fun to point out what’ll flop in 2008. Here are the Internet Marketing ‘trends’, pushed by the pundits, we can comfortably ignore in 2008:

  1. Facebook. Big bad Facebook ended 2007 by giving out private data, started 2008 with a thud and have never established that they’re a decent sales platform. While they show promise as a branding center, they won’t grab the revenue that Google Adwords has – they don’t have much appeal for small businesses, which are the cornerstone of Adwords’ success. Plus, users will start abandoning them in annoyance.
  2. Google Knol. Google’s Wikipedia competitor will be as gigantic a success as Orkut. Nuff said.
  3. Search Wikia. Wikipedia, not to be left out, has decided to go head to head with Google with their own search engine. So far it’s a real winner. Don’t hold your breath on this one.
  4. Vertical Search. It stank up the joint last year. Why would it improve this year? Yet many continue to say it’s the Next Big Thing. I choose to stand aside and let the lemmings plunge without me.
  5. Mobile Media Marketing. I’m a fan of this, and I’d love to see it succeed. Unfortunately, the average North American uses their cell phone while careening down the freeway at 80 mph and simultaneously reading a novel. Don’t count on much attention share in the world’s biggest markets. It will grow, because venture capitalists will continue to pour money into it. But it won’t affect your internet marketing strategy.
  6. Social Networks. These are powerful – we invest a ton of effort in social media for our clients, because it influences other channels. But they won’t overshadow paid and unpaid search in 2008. The average consumer thinks a social network is four people hanging out at the water cooler. Wait for 2009 for this to really take off.
  7. Web 3.0. I will personally rip out the aorta of anyone who uses this phrase in front of me.
  8. The Seth Godin Action Figure. OK, this will sell like hotcakes. But I wanted to get a link from Seth Godin so I mentioned it here.
  9. E-books. Amazon Kindle will wow the pundits. The average consumer will continue to buy paperbacks in airport bookstores.
  10. Blogs as money earners. The A-list will continue to rake in the bucks. The rest of us will toil in silence, muttering angrily as the internet public passes us by.
    Work, work, work
  11. Podcasts. Audio podcasts will continue to languish as a great idea that .00001% of the population cares about. I will still try to get you to hire me to do a podcast, though, to reach that .00001%.

Remember, ignore with authority, and have a great 2008!

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. The amazing thing about Facebook’s ad platform – and this Social Ads crap – is that it doesn’t give the target of the ad a targeted ad. I don’t receive ads based upon keywords on my profile. I get them notices that someone else is a fan of something or other.

  2. I really really REALLY enjoyed that.
    “Web 3.0. I will personally rip out the aorta of anyone who uses this phrase in front of me.”

  3. Quite honestly I’ve never seen or read your blog before and stumbled upon it by accident, but you had me laughing throughout the entire thing. Finally, an informational marketing blog with humor.
    +1 subscriber

  4. Poor Knol – written off from the get-go. I happen to agree with you though. Wiki just has too much of a stranglehold on that market.
    Also, #5 is really valid. Just in my personal experience with the web on phones being largely unbearable (with the exception of the iPhone), how could marketing on phones be successful? It’s not. People just don’t have the time or attention when they’re out and about.

  5. Thank you for re-confirming my feelings about mobile search, wiki search, google knol and social networks. Seeing it written by someone who’s opinion I respect reassures me that I should stop worrying about “but what if…”.
    GREAT read, and fun.

  6. Great list Ian, and thanks for potentially saving us some time. The list reads as a lot if INDEEDs, except Seth’s action figure – can this be for real? Possibly I would knock off a few zeros on podcasts target audience, but the jury’s still out.

  7. @Troy when I wrote this I was so totally ignoring Twitter it didn’t even make it on my list to ignore. Now I’m using it so I’m not sure what to say. It’s an optional ignore?…

  8. I agree with a number of your suggestions and am disappointed to see a few on your list.
    A small question on conversations. Do they happen on facebook, twitter or on social networks?
    How can one ignore mediums which foster conversation.
    These mediums allow marketers to track conversation amongst consumers about their brands and simultaneously pitch in their side of the story bringing true conversation. This is especially true for Twitter.
    I would suggest that these be on the top list of every marketer, otherwise you might just need a new year resolution on Jan 1st next year.

  9. @Ishwar I agree except where the conversations are lost in a sea of spam (Facebook) or system failures that happen so frequently that no one can talk (Twitter).
    Any marketer with half a brain will use things like Google Blog Search, Summize and similar to track comments across a wide range of networks, including Facebook and Twitter, without having to put up with the failures of these systems.

  10. The way I see it, the first step is to track conversations and the second step is to participate in it so that the marketer can engage with consumers/users.
    The latter cannot be achieved without joining these networks and participating.
    Which networks to choose is dependant on time available with the marketer, but to ignore all of them is a risk I am personally unwilling to take.
    Great post, it sparks some debate and some food for thought at the same time. Look forward to more from you.

  11. I especially love the lemming. I’m really glad I fell upon this article. I’m also glad I haven’t wasted toooooo much time on those areas you condemned. Thanks.

  12. Hmmm
    A) where can I get a Seth Godin action figure?
    B) GM, Ford and Chrysler ain’t what they used to be but somebody is still selling cars. My point? Given time and innovation from below, the “A” list changes. Some names percolate up, others fall off.
    Someday my name will be on that list … but long before then, I’ll be making money. There is no long after … I’m too old to ever fall back off if once I make it. I’ll die there.

  13. Ahh, a sense of humor about all of our technology failures. It all goes to show that necessity may be the mother of invention, but so is boredom.

  14. Man, I absolutely love the way you break things down. I have been in a philosophical battle in a couple forums how most marketers don’t use social media platforms correctly because marketers are in it to sell stuff and the folks over a twitter and facebook are there to hang out.
    The so-called social web will continue to confound most marketers.

  15. pretty good prediction. in my opinion social networks and mobile marketing will never work. at least not as good as SEM. first of all users developed the so-called “banner blindness” and therefore they will keep on ignoring ads while they have fun with friends on facebook.
    and regarding mobile marketing I can tell only one thing: when I cat an advertising on my mobile a delete it without even reading the second line of the message. right now it’s only 1 message per month but who knows what will be in the future.
    just imagine having a spam-filter on your mobile: crazy.

  16. Looks like the list won’t change a lot in 2009 as well. Your words about “Web 3.0” made me laugh a lot. “Web 3.0” will be the era when our pets will start using the internet 😉

  17. Still think the same about Facebook? (-:
    A new one I’d potentially add to the list is video blogging … for most people it’s a question of WHY ON EARTH ….
    I am still totally mystified about podcasts though – to me it looks like they are wonderful way to build trust and grab of a slice of people’s time when they are NOT reading – but the most recent podcast stats I could find seem to bear you out.

  18. Interesting to read this in November 2009 Ian. Great insight as always. Do you feel Facebook has polished up their business offering since you wrote this? Do you see more value there now? Your opinions on RSS and podcasts have helped save me a great deal of time. Terrific technology for a very limited number of instances but not enough general use to urge me to educate and inform my general small biz client base about these tools.

  19. @Mike I think that in spite of their occasional silliness Facebook is sincerely interested in keeping their membership happy – they’ve definitely made strides.
    On RSS and podcasts – I LOVE the technology. But I don’t see the average user ever picking it up. You can now subscribe to RSS content with a click from browsers, phones and e-mail software. But most folks still just shrug. It’s maddening, but it appears to be the way of things.

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