What Verklin sees

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In a speech titled "The Crackle of Change," Carat Americas CEO David Verklin offered up seven predictions of things to come in the next 36 months.

* Direct and digital disciplines will be merged. "Watch as all of the holding companies merge their direct and digital assets in a new kind of direct-marketing operation where the Web is the center of the universe."

* Experimentation with 100% composition technology. "Forward-thinking people in media-services companies are talking about running an ad on mass media and then driving only people interested in the product or message to a new location in 100% composition."

* Commerce and cause will collide. A fund-raising initiative by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital includes an effort in which companies such as Target and Amazon.com donate a percentage of sales to the organization.

* The rise of experiential marketing. "Dealer meetings, trade shows and conferences will evolve into and become brand experiences."

* Media planning will be transformed into communications planning. "In traditional media planning, the creative work comes first, and the media buying comes second. With communications planning, that approach changes."

* Gaming is far bigger than imagined. "Did you pay attention to Spike TV's first Video Gaming Awards? ... It will be the Oscars for the 11-year-olds."

* The hottest area of marketing: analytics. "The next battleground is real-time analytics. In this vision, brand managers will have a system on their desktop listening to and monitoring all customers, sales and marketing activity.

See Ad Age.com for more on Verklin's keynote

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