Dear CMO:

In the spirit of trying to show some type of direction for the new year, let’s see if we can put some body English on 2008 and see if we can steer ourselves onto firmer ground. Here are a small handful of fearless predictions for the new year.

The Age of Nonsense will yield to an emergent Age of I Need to Figure This Stuff Out for Myself. Organic doesn’t mean much apparently. Free range is nothing. And corn-fed is just plain evil. Thank you to Michael Pollan for teaching me this. And as we’re all learning, global warming isn’t quite what we saw at the movies, either. Thank you to Bjorn Lomborg for shedding some light here.

Maybe we can call 2008 The Age of “No, I won’t lend you my watch so you can tell me what time it is and then charge me a monthly management fee and 15% of gross billings.” Marketers, rejoice. The age of big agencies guarding their black boxes and keeping you from going behind the beaded curtain is rapidly drawing to a close. Agencies – and marketers – who aren’t willing to do away with entitlements and just get paid for delivering results will be eaten by those who do — literally and figuratively.

Is 2008 the year that we’ll stop talking about blogging because it will have become part of the fabric of everyday communication between brands and markets? Maybe blogging won’t need to have a name. Blogging will be “our website,” or “our advertising… which isn’t on television or the radio or billboards or anywhere else than where our customers want to find it, which is when and where they choose to reach out to us.” It won’t be “our blog” because “our blog” describes a medium, not what is being communicated; and what is being communicated is the point here.

What if 2008 becomes The Year of Responsible Social Responsibility? Last year was a year of Project(RED) versus Buy(LESS), of adopting children from far away countries where we subsequently get in trouble with their adoption laws, and of great soul searching to find that one true calling that makes our brand look more altruistic in the press. In 2008, maybe we’ll figure this stuff out for ourselves and understand that there are fewer things that, if done better, will make a difference. They might be closer to home, too.

How about we try to make 2008 The Year of Two-Way Conversation, Once Called, “Dialog”: could 2008 be the first election won by an independent? That’s my prediction. I won’t say who just yet. Are we fed up with each respective side exclusively talking to its own corner? No one is convincing anyone, and anyone caught in the middle — and who doesn’t have an opinion — is hopelessly lost. The problem is that we, as sentient political people trying to make ends meet, don’t often fall neatly into lock step political platform formation with either the Left or the Right.

I don’t know what you think, but these work for me. My money is on more substance and less fluff for 2008, of peeling back the onion and understanding the how and not just the what, and hopefully sharing what we’re learning with the understanding that others will share, as well.

Happy New Year!