SoDA Releases its 2010 Digital Marketing Outlook

The future of Digital Marketing is exceptionally bright.

As the somber undertones of 2009 fade away, we move excitedly forward towards a year of promise, opportunity and rapid change. If the fiscal stars align, we’ll leave behind the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and move into a new decade filled with anticipation of a stronger global job market that will inevitably be fueled by new and innovative business models. Digital will surely be at the core of this evolution.

In 2009, we saw thousands of marketing and advertising professionals lose their jobs, reputable agencies close their doors, and budgets slashed across the board. Yet among the worst headlines of 2009, Digital has continued to revolutionize and prosper. Facebook and other social networks connect hundreds of millions of users daily, over two billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store in its inaugural year, and global mobile usage has reached an astonishing 4.1 billion handsets and counting.

Today, the Society of Digital Agencies, AKA SoDA (where I serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors) released its 2010 Digital Marketing Outlook survey, which polled over a thousand executives from major global brands, traditional and Digital agencies, vendor and service providers that operate in the Digital space, as well as freelance and independent Digital practitioners. The survey results confirmed the obvious: many believe the future of Digital Marketing is exceptionally bright.

Some notable indicators from the survey that substantiate this bullish POV:

  • 81% of Brand Execs expect an increase in digital projects for 2010
  • 50% will be shifting funds from traditional to digital media
  • 78% of global participants believe the current economy will actually spawn more funds allocated to Digital

Additionally within the DMO, you’ll find some keen insight from SoDA members around the globe on their thoughts and predictions about the future of the Digital Marketing landscape over the forward 12 months.

Some incredibly powerful sentiments really resonated with me:

The next generation of Digital is upon us:

  • “The web can be anywhere, and physical interaction with brand and the extension of commerce into the real world are the convergence point in the next wave of digital marketing.” – Peter Connolly, Obscura Digital
  • IPTV will be the catalyst for “a move away from the “interruptive” advertising model that dominates television today, toward the idea of enhancement, in which brands support new contexts for viewing.  This might be through design, such as a branded frame around a video; through application, like the ability to mark products within programming for further information; or through interactivity, like ads that change up in response to a change in viewer.“ – Dale Herigstad, Schematic
  • “The most important outcome of the smartphone revolution isn’t sales, but rather the shift in the cultural expectations of the device. In just two years, the iPhone has quickly ascended to pop-cultural icon, and has shifted the way that mobile devices impact consumers’ lives, attitudes, and how they, in turn, view the role of a mobile device to support their daily needs.” – Brian Chiger, AgencyNet

Storytelling has evolved:

  • “Online storytelling will bring us huddled around our monitors like our great-grandparents huddled around the fireplace, like our parents huddled around the radio, like we once huddled around the television- and we’ll tell stories like they’ve never been told before.” – Jason Bangerter, Struck/Axiom
  • “Just as much as the conduit for brand storytelling has evolved, the modern consumer of 2010 plays a huge role in your marketing plans. Consumers have beyond proven themselves as content creators and distributors – they are the medium. Consumers are “living, breathing, passionate people who are redirecting traffic and content in real-time, based on personal interests, relationships, and the culture of the moment.” – Peter Caban, Mekanism

Social Media is propelling the rise of the Consumer:

  • “Rather than spending another misguided year trying to “engineer” viral campaigns that will propagate themselves, regardless of consumer intentions, it’s time to refocus our marketing efforts to align with the way that people actually behave.” – Ivan Askwith, Big Spaceship
  • “2010 will be the year that social media-fueled technology and behavior is responsible for more content consumption choices than ever before. As the media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented, marketers will need to become more nimble than ever, and start getting on the leading edge of trends, as opposed to waiting for them to emerge.” – Ian Schafer, Deep Focus

On behalf of my SoDA brethren, I’d like to wish you an inspirational, profitable and exciting year ahead.  There is quite a lot to look forward to…


The Society of Digital Agencies is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the industry through best practices, education and advocacy. The global association is currently comprised of 41 well-regarded Digital agencies with members located across Australia, Canada, Eastern and Western Europe, Mexico, South America, and the United States.

Two Thousand and Ten Digital Marketing Outlook