Driven by the abundance of online and offline personalization possibilities, album-sellers will be pushed aside by song purveyors; book and newspaper publishers by chapter- and article-hawkers; and channel broadcasters by those willing to sell a single show. Richard Laermer, CEO of RLM Public Relations, calls it "killing the middlemen."
2 Articles of Faith
Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and George W. Bush have managed to stay on top despite failing to adhere to dogma-diluting public-relations trends of past years; now it's marketers' turn. Look for prayer guidance from food companies and bible-spouting sales reps. "Inner faith is taking on a public face," said Iconoculture Exec VP Mary Meehan.
3 Mash Culture
Capturing is out, collaboration is in. Open source efforts will reign as consumers demand to be part of the product-development process. What started with Napster will only continue as the music-pirating notion gave rise to the vast possibilities of personal power. New technology allows for-if not enforces-a truly self-service, no-wait world.
4 Dueling extremes
For every burger, there will be bikram yoga. The new moderation means pairing serious sins with an equal amount of repentance, as BrainReserve's Faith Popcorn puts it, "balancing binge moments ... with restorative activities." Understanding dueling extremes-in a single consumer-is the best bet.
5 Gross National Happiness
Our national materialism has gotten us nowhere but in debt, literally and emotionally. The "deficit of happiness" Ms. Meehan points to has resulted in a search for something more than stuff, and marketers will be hard-pressed to show they can help fill the void. Social responsibility will rise to the fore in efforts from fashion to finance.
6 Follow the Silk Road
As the clock ticks toward the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is clearly on the radar as the new capital of cool. Mr. Laermer's advice: "The world is watching China and that means get there, now."
7 Going Grassroots
Years of natural and political disasters have wrought a newly proactive American people. Mr. Laermer sees next year's midterm election prompting a "revolt" from young voters the likes of which hasn't been seen since the '60s. And Ms. Meehan said consumer trust will be won only for brands that play central roles in preparedness, planning and security. Wal-Mart countered many of its media woes coming to the rescue of Katrina victims far before FEMA, she said.
8 Control Freaks
Everyone from food marketers to media purveyors will be forced to reckon with consumers who want to take everything from medical care to the place and time of TV viewing into their own hands. Aging boomers will look increasingly to functional foods (though food marketers have yet to crack the code on how to succeed in that market) as they take charge of their own well-being, and more consumers will look to transfer media wherever, whenever they want it.
9 Hand-Held Ads
Mobile media, the ultimate content-on-demand venue, will move closer to prime time. With third-generation mobile phone networks, ads will show up on mobile TV and new branded mobile video channels will crop up on phones. Advertising, naturally, will follow. That, along with location-targeted ads, will lead to the most likely trend in mobile marketing: consumer backlash.
10 Secondhand Nostalgia
Romantic notions of yesteryear will increasingly pull at the heartstrings (and purse strings) of consumers as they pine for what is always billed, rightly or wrongly, as simpler, safer times. Watch brands like Coca-Cola Co. and Levi Strauss & Co. play up their past to a new generation that can only fantasize about glass contour bottles and 501s ... oh yeah, those are already reborn.