Friday, December 5, 2008

its not digital's recession

An old friend (I've known him for about 8 years, he's not old in years!) asked me the other day what I thought the business climate in the eCommerce and on-line marketing space, especially in the UK, would be like from about mid 2009, once the worst of the economic difficulties were passed.

Here was my perspective:

1. The market for online (eCommerce, Marketing and general digital stuff) is still going to see growth in the next 3 or so years. There are various predictions by intelligent and well-regarded people about what this growth will actually be, and most of these have however been lessened in the recent economic climate. However none are fore-telling a short-medium decline in the online space!
Despite Ad Age's recent article announcing a 'crater in online sales', which eventually admits:
holiday e-commerce sales will ultimately match the $29.2 billion spent during November and December of last year
2. There is still the view that buying online is: easier, cheaper and providing a greater selection - without the: hassles, petrol usage, parking fees/fines and other burdens that accompany a shopping trip

3. Online Marketing is an accountable science, that shows (almost) instantly what works and sells.... and what doesn't! Showing a Return On Investment is key right now and I don't think this will go away, even when the market picks up in a year or two.

4. London is the home of the UK (and possibly the European) digital comunity. There are lots of networking events still and great people to meet & work with. Although Silicon Valley and SF is the home of the new economy, London is its hard-working cousin over the Atlantic

5. Its still a fun industry to be in now. There is still work in digital (albeit less highly-paid consulting roles) but the full-time market for online people is still OK.

So, for now, it doesn't look like its online's recession.
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