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The Forrester Take on Online Marketing, 2005

ForresterCharlene Li of Forrester has published some of the findings from her long-awaited report on the state of online marketing. She makes three key arguments here, which I'll discuss in the context of marketplace economics:

  1. This is not the return of "The Bubble." Charlene argues marketers are having to make tough decisions about their budgets. As Neiman Marcus is retooled and Federated reconfigures its department store lineup, malls have spent three years or more preparing for a world without variable CAM. All marketers - malls, mainstream media, and retailers alike - increasingly demand accountability wherever they spend their capital, economic or otherwise.
  2. It's more than just about search. Charlene points out what Google and Yahoo! are doing about tying CPM- and CPC-based products into the same ad ordering system. Analyzing what people are searching for gives you valuable market insight into what consumers are thinking. If you manage properties in multiple geographies, you're uniquely positioned to understand how the definition of luxury differs from Chicago to Cincinnati.
  3. Marketers will shift channels away from traditional channels to fund online marketing. Arguments that mainstream media like newspapers or broadcast TV are doomed are just plain silly. They won't have the same market power to move masses of people, but they're going to be part of the media mix for the forseeable future. What will change, however, is how they structure deals to add value to their business partners.

The mall industry argues that malls are media, and it's true. I've written how Vogue and Women's Wear Daily have built added value for their advertisers. Similarly, malls increasingly provide private entraces for retailers as enticements. We've partnered with Retail Traffic magazine on a text-messaging service.


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