6 trends that will shape digital in 2013

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Direct video sharing

With tools like Instagram and Snapchat, people have realized the power and fun of sharing images. In 2013, I expect we'll see opportunities to start sharing videos the same way. Marketers are going to jump at this opportunity by inserting pre-rolls, sponsor sharing, and other promotions.

However, the downside of this emerging phenomenon is that people will likely be sharing long, boring videos, and recipients will start to feel like people in the 1970s who were invited over to watch a slideshow of a recent vacation. Be on the lookout for my 2015 predictions that will talk about the demise of direct video sharing.

The privacy debate will get a verdict

There's been a lot of discussion about whether or not cookie tracking is an invasion of privacy, and in 2013, there will be some legislation either for or against cookie tracking. And either way, digital advertising will increase.

Without cookies, it might be less targeted, or cookies might even become more invasive. (After all, direct marketers have been using incredible levels of personal targeting data for years.). But in the end, digital is where your audiences are.

Marketers will still have a need to build awareness and increase purchase intent. How we do it might change, but the need and opportunity won't diminish. I encourage marketers not to waste a lot of effort complaining about how this works out. Instead, embrace the decision. Direct mail has always had more consumer data than we ever see, and broadcast has built a huge business on limited ratings data with limited audience detail. Digital marketing isn't going away.



Cristian Vorstius Kruijff
Cristian Vorstius Kruijff January 4, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I agree with Judd. QR codes are declared dead from the moment it was introduced. That is bevause most marketeers are years behind in their knowledge on mobile marketing and have no clue in using QR codes in a manner that it really pays off. In the Netherlands we provide marketeers with QR code software that goes much further that just linking to online information. And the market in the EU is only growing. A thing of witch we think lacks in this article is the rise of Augmented Reality and Geo-Based communication and virtual shopping. But hey, there is a sea of predictions in the ocean of digital marketing. Nice article anyway.

Dominique PALACCI
Dominique PALACCI January 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Many thanks for this clear list. It helps to find our way in this jungle of so many new technologies.
I think the main challenge of Digital in 2013 will be to propose a Cross Channel Customer experience (SoLoMo) choosing the right technology with each media.

Jarmila Halovsky-Yu
Jarmila Halovsky-Yu December 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

As marketers, for us and our customers to equally derive value from the new Digital channels, we surely need to agree to create valuable content that is optimised / versioned to be relevant for not only the Digital medium but also the device. And, is delivered by a meaningful integrated sales and marketing strategy and plan that has 'customer focus' at its core. Lest we risk reduced customer usage, reliance and trust from these new channels and what we pump into them. Worse still we risk providing a negative customer experience that undoes all the good brand work and investment we make. We've probably all witnessed over and incorrect usage of direct mail and telemarketing. I hope that 2013 and beyond we collectively positively contribute to shaping Digital for mutual success!

Judd Wheeler
Judd Wheeler December 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM

While I agree with many of your points, I disagree with the death of QR Codes in 2013. The story of their demise has been told for years. First, they live strong outside of the US. I don't see a timeline to their death overseas. Second, until something comes to replace them, they will still be used. I agree and it is unfortunate, that marketers have failed miserably to use them correctly and take advantage of their capabilities.

Miglena Nedelcheva
Miglena Nedelcheva December 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

In fact, I believe in almost all of the predictions but the best for me is the direct video sharing. I'm sure this is doing to happen soon in 2013 or 2014 and will bring a lot of new challenges for the marketers.

amlike thewind
amlike thewind December 11, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Why should anyone believe these predictions to be any more accurate than the usual (wrong) ones?

Bart De Pelsmaeker
Bart De Pelsmaeker December 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Hi Peter - thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. My personal favorites is :

"....usage and impact of tablets and smartphones varies greatly. Smart marketers will start delineating their messaging accordingly."

I certainly hope so. It seems to be that many people group tablets even under the 'print' category, when looking at many content apps (pdf-replicas) out there today.

Nancy Myrland
Nancy Myrland December 10, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Nice recap of your 2013 predictions, Peter. I wholeheartedly agree about QR codes. I think they have always been clunky at best, and require too much work for the user. They have been approached and perceived as a novelty, and many have spent time and money on them before focusing on existing forms of engagement and interaction that users are already using.

Also, this is music to my ears: "Marketers will finally tire of trying to manage and lead the conversation in social. They will instead focus on surrounding and participating in conversations."

While I do believe marketers and brands will be looked to as leaders in many of the discussions taking place out there, and should continue doing so, there has not been enough bench strength in engagement and interaction.

No brand should let clients, customers, naysayers or brand advocates post alone, but should be engaging in conversation that acknowledges and discusses their comments. If people take enough of their valuable time to engage a brand in Social, then firms/companies/brands owe it to them to show respect by continuing the discussion.

Again, thanks for sharing your predictions.

Denyse Drummond-Dunn
Denyse Drummond-Dunn December 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Great article Peter.
This isn't the first time I've heard about the imminent death of the QR code.
However, don't you think it could be useful, if only the hardware could make it convenient?. Being a right-hand finger & thumb typist - never code get my left thumb to cooperate - I would love to be able to have the camera recognise the code and open the appropriate website. At least on the iPhone it is quick to open the camera now.
However I agree that marketing have also to make appropriate use of it for the QR code to have any value.
Not sure which of these is the real problem!