Digital Trends to Watch in 2012


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Luckie & Company's Director of Digital Strategy Chris Zobel provides our annual look at digital trends for the new year, including advances in HTML5, cloud-based music and smartphone adoption.

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Digital Trends to Watch in 2012

  1. 1. Data and Content Will Reign Supreme Data and Content Will Reign Supreme As consumers continue to use digital platforms for commerce, communication, socializingAs consumers continue to use digital platforms for commerce, communication, socializing, entertainment and so on, they become more ofa moving target when it comes to they become more of a also becoming more when it comes to marketing. They and entertainment, marketing. Additionally, they are moving target savvy and educated about how they want to be are also becoming more educated and savvier about how they want to be marketed to.marketed to.Knowing this, 2012 this, 2012 willtailoring content to the consumer content to the consumer, giving who they are. This is Knowing will be the year of be the year of tailoring – give consumers what they want based on them whatwhere the data is most important. By collecting kits and pieces of data, clients will be able to tailor messaging to the consumers. Based onconsumers’ online behavior, we can determine their needs, interests and pointsdata is most important. By collecting have a they want based on who they are. This is where the of relevance in order to know them better. Once weclearer picture of our audience, data, allocate resources, able to tailor messaging to targets. It’s about creating awareness for bits and pieces of we can clients will be content and media to the appropriate the consumers. Based onthose who are not yet aware, instead of blanketing the masses with the same message. We will need to follow the consumers, on their consumers’ online behavior, we can determine their needs, interests and points ofterms, through the purchase cycles, creating multiplatform touch-points along the way. relevance. Once we have a clearer picture of our audience, we can allocate resources,The best news is and media to the efforts and multi-touch initiatives will help lead to a higher return on media investment. content that all of the marketing appropriate targets. It’s about creating awareness for those who are not yet aware instead of blanketing the masses with the same message. We will need to follow the consumers, on their terms, through the purchase cycles, creating multiplatform touchpoints along the way. The best news is that marketing efforts and multitouch initiatives will help lead to a higher return on media investment.
  2. 2. Image Source: inlog.org2-D Codes2-D codes are not dead yet. We witnessed a lot more coverage of 2-D codes in 2011.Lowe’s placed Microsoft Tags on every item in its stores and reached out to manufacturersto give them the opportunity to build against the tags that were created. Home Depot willfollow suit. Fashion has always been ahead of the curve, and the industry was the first touse tags more effectively. Marketing campaigns for other industries are now incorporatinginnovative content behind the codes instead of just static websites. I’m not going to beat thishorse again in 2012, but you should definitely incorporate 2-D codes into your plans, when itmakes sense, and drive users to relevant content.
  3. 3. Image Source: digisquared.comMusic in the CloudsCloud-based music streaming is going to be awesome in 2012 – as long as it’s free. Thereinlies the challenge to business models. Some users are willing to pay the premium forunlimited, multidevice access to tunes – between $36 and $120, depending on the services.However, with Spotify and Pandora dishing out free music as long as you can stand the adsand you don’t pass the capped hours of listening, the paid model is a little less appealing.Additionally, most users have a la carte services that they still use, like iTunes, Amazon andGoogle. What’s the answer? We don’t know yet. 2012 will be the year to see how wellmodels fare in the current music-listening economy.
  4. 4. Image Source: wikipedia.orgGet in the Game: Brands’ Use of GamingGamers, we know who you are. 65% of U.S. households have game consoles, and 49% ofgamers are between the ages of 18 and 49. The average age of a gamer is 32 years old.From a demographic stance, gaming is a big target. Also, when you look at the number andtypes of games out there, clients are able to pick and choose how to integrate. Besides in-game advertising, there’s also marketing implementation within marketplaces on gameconsoles. Many clients still think that gaming is about shoving a cartridge into the console.They’re not aware of the social aspects of the gaming community and that online gamingtrumps single-player experiences. It’s time to get in the game.
  5. 5. Source: Comscore Image Source:, blackberry.comSmartphone Adoption Ready To Soar2011 was the year when smartphone penetration leapt over the 50% mark. With the futureof Research In Motion in the balance, along with the ever growing discontent amongshareholders and BlackBerry users, this may be a banner year for the smartphone.Smartphone app usage, solid hardware/software and seamless integration with users’ musicand cameras have been a threat to RIM. The one saving grace for the BlackBerry, believe itor not, is the keyboard. Users seem to love its tactile nature.
  6. 6. Image Source:, gizmodo.comGesture Recognition NavigationMicrosoft Xbox and Kinect have blazed a path for gesture recognition usage. Bodies arenow being used instead of a gaming controller. We also have Siri from Apple, eliminatingthe need to type into a search field. Add to that the multitouch screens on tablets and mobiledevices. The digital society is becoming less reliant on interfacing with technology by touchand is entering an era of touch-free navigation. Mobile companies like Samsung and Nokiahave been submitting patents for gesture-based mobile navigation since 2008. It’s just beena waiting game for the technology to catch up. Well, it’s caught up. In 2012, we look forwardto seeing which companies will break the touch barrier and implement gesture-based controlover mobile devices.
  7. 7. Image Source: googleblog.blogspot.comMobile NFC and the Mobile WalletGoogle Wallet has started the ball rolling with mobile payments using near fieldcommunication (NFC) technology. Google has more than 150,000 merchants, as well asNew York City cabbies, who accept the technology, and we expect this to grow. With anytechnology sector, there is an expectation that others will follow. Whether it’s using NFC likeGoogle Wallet or issuing a barcode, much like the very successful Starbucks app, there willbe many players in this category.
  8. 8. Image Source: apple.comVoice-controlled SearchWith the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S came a little voice on the phone. We call her Siri.And Siri is making waves. After a new user runs out of witty and fun requests, many ofwhich can be found on the website, there are practical uses for thepersonal assistant. Siri is an innovative way to cut to the chase when looking up directions,texting, scheduling, etc. One thing Siri does of note is eliminate the middle man – namely,search. Users merely speak into their phones and get results. No more typing. No morescrolling. And this has many observers curious about how to leverage search in mobile ifvoice-controlled devices are the future. Be on the lookout to see how Android’s version ofSiri, called Skyvi, will affect the search giants in their attempts to keep their share of the pie.Additionally, keep an eye on newcomers who might throw their hats in the ring.
  9. 9. Image Source: apple.comHTML5It was reported late in 2011 that the highly anticipated Flash Mobile Player is dead. Thiscomes after months of speculation about how Apple iPads would go on without Flash. Nowwe have the answer. However, the real question is that if tablet sales are increasing, howwill advertisers react? The majority of display advertising is produced with Flash, and thisposes a challenge. Additionally, website development has historically relied on Flash as acreative platform for video and animation. The prediction: high rate of adoption of HTML5.And that’s not just for websites but for display advertising as well. Marketers will be lookingfor the best way to leverage this technology to ensure that their message is seen and hasimpact.
  10. 10. Chris ZobelDirector of Digital StrategyWith more than 15 years of experience in the digital space, Chris heads up our digitalstrategy and planning group. Chris is tasked with developing customized digitalmarketing strategies for clients, as well as identifying opportunities and providingdigital solutions to help support the full integration of digital media in everything wedo. From online ads to online gaming, he finds the right place for the right message. For further insight, you can follow Chris on Twitter @chriszobel.