Business Predictions for 2008

Happy New Year to all.

So in keeping with a well tried and tested media protocol, it seems appropriate to try and make some predictions for business in 2008 both in general and most importantly as far as Just Media is concerned.

Firstly the general business climate. Well on the face of it the economic signs coming into 2008 could not be more worrying. Low rate for the dollar, record high oil prices, poor end of year consumer purchasing trends, housing market facing collapse and unhearalded crisis of confidence in the global banking community certainly don’t make this feel like a great start to the year. It’s looking highly likely that the global economy is set for a rocky ride….

However is it also possible that what we will see in 2008 and 2009 is an acceleration of a shift in global market power. Certainly China is experiencing huge growth, matched by other developing markets which are now in accelerated “catch up and pass mode”. High oil prices also benefit certain markets like Russia and Middle East and global turmoil can also be a catalyst for economic prosperity within corporate land (see Naomi Kleins new book) with resulting positive trickle down effects sustaining economies despite other downward pressures.

From a US perspective the greatest question will be the political landscape and the resulting impact on the confidence within the market. Already the presidential primary process is becoming too close to call and frankly most of the candidates are still squarely in the “unknown” category in terms of their ability to provide genuine long term economic policy insights that the markets can trust. With Bush in lame duck territory that’s less than ideal in the short term.

so I predict 2008 will be a rough year but with plenty of opportunity for success. A recession will hit but with many still making plenty of money. A global catastorophy but with many markets doing “just fine thank you”…a mixed bag with just as many winners as losers. brace yourselves it’s going to be a roller coaster ride !!

So where does that leave us…Just Media. Well to be honest it’s just as hard to call. Going into 2008 it’s looking good. Practically 100% renewal rate with current clients means we have a very solid base upon which to grow. New business opportunities continue to be strong and spend predictions are right now quite solid. However I feel it will be important to diversify even more this year. Extending the client base will be critical to minimizing any effects felt by individual clients who might take a conservative route with marketing dollars.

As an agency we have also adjusted our business. Now more than 50% of all media we buy is online. Much of that is lead generation. Toughening marketing conditions tend to drive customers to focus even more on these skills. It enables us to show value even more. What’s more, as budgets tighten the pressures on results and genuine market knowldge increases – both play to our strengths.

I predict a tight but exciting year. Consolidation of existing business and expansion into new areas will be the path to success. Continuing to provide genuine value ahead of vague promises will be key.

For us 2007 was the year of change and growth. With most of the pieces in place, we are ready for 2008.

Let the fun commence !!

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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