Digital Trends For 2013Jan 28 2013 · 0 comments · Articles
Let me begin by saying how much I hate reading articles on what the year’s trends might be. Possible it’s because I am not a client and they are not meant for me. But usually it is a pointless exercise, either you play it safe and just regurgitate what happened in the previous year, but add on a few extras or you’re plain just sticking your finger in the air and guessing/hoping. ‘Digital Marketing experts’ (yes, such as myself), will write about what to expect for the year ahead, but no one actually goes back at the end of the year to score them.
We need less trends and more originality. Thankfully, by working in digital, that actually happens more than in other industries. The digital landscape changes so quickly and is so new, amazingly talented people are already taking this week’s new technology and software and dreaming up ever more ingenious ways to use it. The results of which make me slap my hand on my forehead numerous times during the year and say, “Ah now why didn’t I think of that! Brilliant!”
But for the purpose of this post and precisely because I am a horrible forecaster, I have decided to review what I think will happen in digital in 2013. Then I can look back at the end of the year and laugh at my poor vision and how much digital has evolved once again in ways we never imagined.
My digital marketing predictions for 2013 (These are varied and in no particular order):
1) Mobile use and interactivity in everydaylife continues to explode in South Africa and Africa. More Africans have a mobile phone than have access to electricity. We’re more than the mobile leaders, we’re mobile only.
2) Further to the above, advertisers and campaigns start to wake up and tap into the huge waiting mobile consumer base.
3) Online e-commerce sales continue to grow rapidly as businesses improve their online shopping models and South African consumers start to gain more trust in using their credit cards online.
4) Online advertising banners refuse to die and go away due to the lack of a quality alternative. To clients; people do not click on banners, if you spend money on them, rather view them as branding exercises than conversion opportunities.
5) Responsive design becomes the staple of site and app design. Responsive design is designing and developing with multiple screen sizes in mind. Don’t design for 3 screen types e.g Desktop, Tablet and Mobile when you can design and develop creatively to fit them all.
6) SEO continues to be undervalued as business tool. Clients really need to be educated as to the importance and the impact that good SEO (search engine optimisation) can have on business and brands.
7) Marketing, whether it’s digital, traditional or called by any other name is still just marketing and not rocket science. Know your brand, know your target market and choose the most relevant channel(s) available to talk to your audience.
8) Facebook will make a privacy stuff-up. They will apologise, but not really care ( like Lance).
9) Apple’s reputation will decline as brands such as Google, Samsung and Windows innovate and design more successfully. People will realise they are paying a lot of money for an Apple product that is only a little better now than it’s competitors. This part probably won’t happen, but let’s see.
10) A massive brand and/or company will tweet something stupid/irresponsible/racist/insensitive. I’ve got this one in the bag.
11) Content will remain king.
12) Samsung will sue Apple who will sue Google who will post it on Google+ which no one will see.
13) Email will continue to give the best ROI for direct digital marketing.
Those are a mix of some of my random trends and thoughts for 2013. Digital is at once a wonder and a curse to work with as the landscape changes so often and so quickly. Adapt or die as the saying goes. But that’s the beauty of it. South Africa will continue to mature as a digital market and as our bandwidth slowly grows. But it’s probably not growing as fast as it could or I would want it to, but it’s still a hugely exciting space to work within. One thing is definitely true. The future is digital.