Director of advertising
Starwave Corp., Seattle
The biggest challenge I find in marketing on the Web is making the transition from designing sites that use what works on the Web to include more brand building. Clients and agencies are very smart in building brands within traditional media; now they need to evolve the skill to extend the brand's role and meaning in a consumer's life online in a way that traditional media can't.
While some warriors may insist that audience measurement and secure transactions are the biggest issues today, they will get solved and won't even be a question in the near future. Just last year people were debating whether advertising should be on the 'net.
As for the future of the Web, super-fast connections via cable modems will start allowing full-motion video, programming that adapts to your needs and seeks you out, as well as smart advertising that addresses you demographically and by current needs. Plus, there will be an ability to conduct transactions of the simple (local groceries) to the considered (cars).
Also down the road, commercial online services will be consolidated with each other and/or be bought by hardware or software companies. They will offer Web access, in competition with long distance providers and RBOCs, as well as e-mail as an unbundled option.