Advertising Age comes up with a view on Digital M&A Trends for 2008 in 2008 and I wonder how many of the ad companies which AdAge caters to as its primary audiences are going to heed.
Amongst the trends that they are seeing for the coming year concerns something that I have been trying to champion: analytics.
In one of its predictions, AdAge says that "Analytics will be hot - and expensive". It further says that "as more marketers laser in on return on investments, expect the value of firms such as Web Trends, CoreMetrics, and Omniture... to rise".
Which to me is interesting.
Is 2008 the year when clients are actually going to wake up to the reality and the importance of analytics in their marketing campaigns?
I do hope so.
AdAge is also saying that "tech companies, ad agencies, and ad networks are all coming together". I think it is inevitable as I have mentioned in my earlier blog entries (and in a presentation I made to my former agency's leadership team). I think that 2008 will indeed be that year - BUT I don't think that it will be something that ad agencies will initiate: they are well too protective of their "creative departments" and "strategic planning" departments and disciplines. I think that it will be tech companies who will lead this.
The possible acquirers? Microsoft, Google, Yahoo (if they finally get their act together.) Their targets? IPG, Havas, and a slew of other smaller ad companies with respectable global networks (or at least, significant presence in Asia).
What else is there in 2008? Size will still matter - WPP is thought by AdAge to continue its dominance in terms of heft, market cap, and revenues. It is also potentially going to be gobbling up more companies in the upcoming year. Will other holding companies following suit? I think Publicis will - and Omnicom.
What's missing in the predictions of AdAge though is the emergence of Southeast Asia and India. I think that the attention that has been given China (which will continue well into 2008 because of the Olympics) is too much. I believe that Southeast Asia - with its growing economies, such as Vietnam's and Malaysia's, and stable business environment (as in Singapore) - will figure prominently in 2008. The markets in Southeast Asia and that of India have been growing steadily - and are being overshadowed by the continued spotlight on China.