After the apocalypse.

What will marketing be like when this recession is over?

On April 2nd, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke finally used the "R" word and made the recession official. We're kind of relieved that he did, because we'd hate to think that what the economy has been going through lately might be considered normal.

Like all recessions, this one is going to a catalyst for change.

That change will come in many forms. Some will be the result of a shrinking-sum game, as companies battle for share of withering markets. Some will come from acceleration of trends which are already underway. And some may be paradigm shifts that alter the marketplace in unexpected – and possibly tectonic – ways.

So fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Here are some things we expect to see when the trip is over:

· Internet video will be a significant mass-reach branding medium. The web already delivers as many total advertising impressions as television. A recent Harris Interactive study found that :30 branding commercials in three different product categories all had higher recall when viewed online than when viewed on TV. So online video won't just be for direct-response advertising or sales-funnel-filling anymore. And consumer package goods marketers will divert larger and larger portions of their $11 billion media spending to the web.

· Search is going to be the essential element in any marketing communications campaign. When customers are in short supply, no marketer can afford to miss any of them. And search is a nearly universal part of any considered purchase decision. A carefully-targeted combination of paid and optimized search puts brands in front of prospects at key steps in the purchase-decision process. Marketers may initially turn to search in desperation during the recession, but when they realize how valuable it is, search will become the principal tool of marketing communications.

· Ink-on-paper newspapers will be seriously weakened. Last Friday's Wall Street Journal reported that March ad revenues were down substantially versus year-ago for three major newspaper chains: New York Times Corporation down 12.5%; Media General down 22.3%; Tribune Co. (now a private company which doesn't publicize its numbers) a "double digit" decline. And these losses are in comparison to 2007, which was also way down from the previous year. A big chunk of newspapers' ad shrinkage is coming from losses in classified. In the 2001 recession, ink-on-paper newspapers lost about a third of their classified revenues. They never returned to their pervious levels when the economy rebounded. That's likely to be the case this time as well. The revenue that migrates to the internet is probably going to stay there when the recession is over.