Monday, January 22, 2007

Business leaders underestimate the web

The IMRG figures for online sales in the run up to Christmas show that forecasts underestimated demand. Forecasts of £7.5 billion compared to the actual outcome of £7.66 billion and that is only part of the story. Sales were limited because online retailers could not deliver.

Last year online sales were £30.2 billion with an increase during 10 weeks to Christmas up 54% on 2005.

Well this is not much of a surprise to some of us. What is disturbing is that so many people are still in denial. Online PR is still a fringe activity. Online advertising is inyerface. Web sites are horrid and lack interactivity and response to the power of social media lacks imagination to a degree that makes users cringe and rage.

As an industry the PR business just has to get stuck in.

Poncing around in the hope it will all go away led from behind by the PR institutions is no way to run an economy, industry sector or business.

The response to the power of the Internet in the UK is akin to the response to the realities of manufacturing in the 1960's, R&D and education in the '70's, the global economy in the run up to the millennium and show lack of foresight and fuddy duddy thinking.

The lack of knowledge about online interactivity across UK management and the creative services is appalling.

There is a need for leadership.