Trends to Watch in 2007

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Luxury marketers will be shifting some of their targeting.
Luxury marketers will be shifting some of their targeting.
1 Cultural lux marketing

According to the Luxury Institute, luxury-goods and -services firms are finally starting to realize that African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans are profitable demographic segments of the wealthy population. Top brands will learn to segment customers more surgically.

2 Social networking

Whether it be MySpace or YouTube or even sites that haven't launched yet, an uptick in marketing via social networks is a likelihood. Even more established portals such as MSN and Yahoo are likely venues for those looking to have a deeper presence in an area that is only beginning to be explored.

3 To infinity and beyond!

Expect 2007 to be the year private companies ramp up marketing for commercial space travel. At least a dozen companies are developing models for commercial space travel. Sorry, brand loyalists-no word yet if frequent-flier space miles will be honored by regular airlines.

4 Bacon and eggs

It's not just the domain of McDonald's and Burger King anymore: Every fast feeder is set to test breakfast in 2007, among them Wendy's, Taco Bell and Subway. Whether the lure of the drive-thru beats stopping at Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks for coffee and a muffin remains to be seen.

5 Brand Sluts

Yeah, we're talkin' to you. Trendster and JWT Exec VP Marian Salzman defines "brand sluts" as consumers who flit from one brand to the next with no sense of fidelity to any of them. While the connotation is negative, brand sluts are in fact savvy consumers.

6 Ads in Chinese

OK, maybe not on TV. Yet. But with the Olympics headed to Beijing in '08, companies will be reaching out to the community. Already marketers have used ads in Chinese for rotating signage at the Toyota Center in Houston, home of the NBA's Rockets and star player Yao Ming.

7 Sniffing around

Look for more and more marketers to use scents in advertising. PepsiCo used a scented ad for its Diet Jazz brand, and Verizon went with the sweet smell of cocoa for its chocolate phone at several of its New York stores. Ah, the return of scratch-n-sniff. We trust this will be done tastefully.

8 More portal advertising

Marketers will be doing more, and broader, campaigns on portals due to their huge reach and increased rivalry for the space. Example: In November, Nissan became the exclusive sponsor for a series of biweekly concerts on Yahoo's music portal called "Nissan Live Sets."

9 Alpha moms

According to the aforementioned Ms. Salzman, this is the definition of the modern mom who is confident and in control, a well-informed, strong, decision-making multi-tasker. There's an Alpha Mom cable channel, and NBC even has a pilot titled "Alpha Mom" for its 2006-07 season.

10 Change is bad

Here's a trend most marketers are likely to avoid: use of the phrase "change agent." Agent of change. Whatever. Wal-Mart marketing chief Julie Roehm used "change agent" to describe herself and her role, and the entire marketing world sees where that got her. A change. Of address.
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