Online advertising expected to take-up 18% of marketing budgets within 5 years.

Realistic or too optimistic? What do you think? Should we expect the same in Canada?

“NEW YORK — After years of interactive advertising being dominated by search and display advertising and e-mail programs, new outlets and more sophisticated marketers portend more diverse spending in years to come, according to a new study.

Forrester Research, like nearly all ad-spending forecasts, projects marketers will shift budgets online at a quick pace in the next five years. By 2012, it expects the market will hit $61.3 billion, up from $18.4 billion in 2007. In five years, Forrester expects interactive spending to account for 18% of marketing budgets.

Forrester sees much higher spending growth in newer areas. It expects buying in the “emerging channels” category (in-game advertising, social networks, mobile) to grow from $1 billion to $10.6 billion in 2012, when it will make up 17% of all spending. Online video is set to grow from $471 million in 2007 to $7.2 billion in 2012, accounting for 12% of online marketing spending.” – Brian Morrissey , Brandweek

You can read the full article here…

It’s kind of hard to believe, especially when my province (Ontario) just spent 6 million dollars on completely ineffective 30-second commercial spots for the provincial elections/referendum. When will the government learn to stop letting ad agencies decide which marketing communications activities they should be engaging in? Until the ad agency compensation structure is changed, every ad agency will convince you that you need a TV spot. I mean common! $6 million! for what? Just imagine what that kind of budget could have accomplished if it was put towards a social media strategy.

I am bold enough to say that for 1/100th of that budget given to me personally, I could have given Elections Ontario a significantly better result. Oh well, at least we can celebrate “Family Day” now…

Government 2.0 arrives in Ottawa!

I must say I am very impressed with this year’s line-up for GTEC (October 15-17), which is the largest government/technology conference in Canada (held annually in Ottawa). For those unaware, GTEC Week is a “substantive, value-packed learning opportunity strategically developed to meet the current needs of senior executives and policy makers, program delivery managers, technical managers, and professionals from all levels of government” as defined on the official GTEC website.

The focus on Web 2.0 is finally front and centre, where it should be. Hence, this year’s theme: Government 2.0. I have seen the keynote speaker, Don Tapscott, speak on numerous occasions (many of you have probably read his book, Wikinomics) and I must say he never ceases to impress me.

GTEC isn’t the only thing lined up for us here in Ottawa regarding Social Media (and how we can integrate it with the Public Sector). On September 26th, Mitch Joel will be conducting a full-day IAB Canada course on Social Media, which I highly recommend for beginners and experts alike. I unfortunately, will not be attending due to a “March Madness” equivalent September month in terms of due client marketing strategies and reports. Nonetheless, I have committed to a few major out-of-town conferences this year, which I am very excited about. One of them is the unconference entitled “PodCamp Boston 2“, which is the follow up to the original PodCamp (derived from the widely popular BarCamp concept). This is where the Web 2.0 “Who’s Who” from around the world gather to discuss, share and learn about everything having to do with Social Media. It’s a little hike from Ottawa, but my intent is to bring back lots of ideas so that we can organize a smaller-scale version here in Ottawa for people unable to travel for whatever reason (Montreal and Toronto each have their own PodCamps).

I think the whole concept of user-organized “unconferences” is absolutely genius and I would love to start one up here in Ottawa. Especially if it were to focus specifically on applying Web 2.0 concepts to improve service delivery in the Public Sector (a unique niche with lots of opportunity for improvement). Did I mention that these “unconferences” are FREE? If you think quality takes a hit, think again, just look at the list of attendees and proposed sessions for this year’s PodCamp in Boston. Sponsors can take care of food and other amenities. However, at the end of the day, content is king, I couldn’t care less about the hors d’oeuvres , especially if I’m not paying a cent. If you’re interested in helping me start something up here in Ottawa, let me know!

Canada and U.S seriously lagging in average broadband speed

Average Broadband Speed

This study was just released this week. Canada and the U.S are way behind the top dogs in terms of average broadband speed. To many individuals, this might come as a surprise and should act as a wake up call.

Consider this excerpt:

“In the first three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only “basic” broadband, among the slowest, most expensive, and least reliable in the developed world, and the United States has fallen even further behind in mobile-phone-based Internet access. The lag is arguably the result of the current administration’s failure to make a priority of developing these networks. In fact, the United States is the only industrialized state without an explicit national policy for promoting broadband. ” –

Here in Canada, (as you can see in the chart above), we’re not much better off at all. The West cannot afford to fall behind like this for much longer. Faster broadband leads not only to benefits for us marketers (i.e. a wider variety of information sharing possibilities and multi sensory media usage to get our messages across), but more importantly, towards a more educated and informed society as a whole.

So what’s stopping us? –>Lack of Fibre Optic cable infrastructure.

How did Japan do it in just 5 years? (note that in 2001, Japan was well behind the U.S and Canada). –>The government got the private sector involved, it gave subsidies and grants to telecom start-ups and most importantly, it saw the benefit and potential of ultra high-speed broadband.

So what do you think? Does the Canadian government dedicate enough resources towards broadband? Should our tax money be used? What would our society be like if everyone had fiber-optic ultra high-speed connections? When will we get there? I’m curious to hear your thoughts…

For more information on the e-Japan strategy and the incredible results, be sure to read this article.