Interactive marketing rules a world of digital experiences.

The last few years we have been spoiled with all kinds of free online services. At first everybody wondered how long this model would stand. Because after the burst of the first Internet bubble, we all understood that a commercial activity is not sustainable unless there is a decent business model. My grandmother knew that already, if you want to spend money, there has to be an earnings side. Since the commercial success of Google's advertising platform however, everybody understands that if you have a real audience that is somewhat sizable, advertising can pay the bills.
With that issue solved, we can look at the future again. And it's full of opportunities.

Take a look at Microsoft, still the biggest consumer brand in the technology arena. They split there offering in four parts: Office, Xbox, Live and MSN. MSN gets all it's income through advertising, just like most other portals or news sites. On Windows Live there are no banners, but the search part uses a system similar to Google's to generate income through text adds. There are no plans to make Windows Live paying so here too the only source of income will be advertising. Xbox and office still live of traditional sales of hard- and software. But with in-game advertising we'll probably see the price of games going down in the future or maybe even become free. Sony Playstation will sell the PS3 at a loss and make profits from the games, the so-called loss leader principle. When the revenue from games comes partially (or completely) from games we may even get the hardware for free.
The same logic can be applied to applications like Word and Excel. Microsoft has no other choice if they want to win the battle against Google. Already today I'm preparing this post in Google Doc, a free online word processor and spreadsheet that offers enough features to replace about 90% of what I did with Word and Excel in the past.
And who pays the bill? I do ,with my loyal visits to Google where I give away a piece of my attention to advertisers on Google Search and Gmail, and in return I get a series of use full applications. This means that every online move ('digital experiences' I tend to call that nowadays) we make can be sponsored by one or the other organisation. And knowing that everything we do seems to be using Internet technology more and more, it is clear what today is called interactive advertising (a division of 'Real Advertising Inc.'), will be the only form of advertising tomorrow.

Our whole world with consist of digital experiences, from making a phone call to producing spreadsheets, from gaming to watching TV and from buying music to studying. Most of those activities will be free, in exchange for a piece of our attention for advertising. But it will be a very different form of advertising. Cool TV spots will be replaced by relevant experiences, intrusive mailings (on paper or electronically) will disappear in favor of honest and direct communication with brands and opt-in will become on-demand. The creativity with which a medium is used becomes as important as the creativity of the idea itself.

And all those digital experiences will also be the playing field of the advertising crowd, they will generate the revenues. So the future look complex but incredibly fascinating, and immensely big for anything digital.