The idea of ‘what is coming for the year’ actually came from an editorial written by Isaac Asimov in 1964 for the occasion of the New York World’s Fair, and what the condition of the world would be in 50 years, 2014. Brian Clark of Copyblogger posted it yesterday, you can read it here.
I’m not going to try anything on the scope and scale of Asimov’s column. I am going to make some predictions, and hope I am as close for one year as he was for 50.
I predict there will be at least 200 new Traffic Exchanges launched in 2014. That’s the easy part.
I predict that roughly 300 will fade out or fade into insignificance in 2014. That would be many from 2013 and a few hangers on from 2012 and before. I predict that one or two that are launched in 2014 will have a real impact in 2015. Yes, I predict that 1% will actually succeed at some level.
It’s a tough, competitive market, and most people don’t plan through, they just plan the launch and the money rolling in. It really doesn’t work that way. It takes grinding hard work and long term commitment combined with a sound business plan to even have a chance.
I simply can not imagine that there will be as many mailers launched in 2014 as there were in 2013, but I predict that there will be. Even more than the TE market, it really does take something unique to succeed with a mailer, and most haven’t a clue. I do not see the business model succeeding at most any level. The end is that the same people are mailing the same ads to the same people over and over and over again. How does the industry not have a contraction?
That said, there were at least 4 mailers launched in 2013 that did succeed, that are succeeding, that will succeed. A staggering large number of maybe 2%.
TimTech is at least partly responsible for the proliferation. Their ListNerds, launched in April, is wildly successful under any standards, and in many ways sets the bar for the modern mailer. They made it look so easy that many have tried to duplicate the process….
I see no slowdown in the launches in this market, either. I predict that they will continue at the current pace for at least the first quarter of 2014. I also predict an explosive correction in this market during 2014. I think the market is saturated, or even worse, artificially high. I’m guessing that a few will fail (that were doomed from the start) and people will lose some money earned. That could (I think will) cause a massive pull out of earned funds all over the market, and I think that even some large players will not survive. Harsh words, and a harsh prediction, but I’ll stand by it. Time will tell.
I realize that this whole post has a negative tone to it. Am I discouraged about the prospects for 2014? Not at all. In fact, I think the industry is robust and growing, what I see is growing pains caused by too much expansion with too little thought and planning expended. I am very much optimistic about the market and the chances for you and me to make some money from it this year.
I think the key for 2014 and beyond is to excel. Make your product better than everybody elses, work harder, stay longer and you and I will succeed. It simply takes work, commitment and planning.
And in the End
I’m really looking forward to 2014 with eager anticipation. Bring it on!
I’m just sayin’